Rio Hondo, Texas

Rio Hondo, Texas

According to DIRECTORYAAH, Rio Hondo, Texas is a small city located in the southernmost part of Cameron County. It is approximately 35 miles from the Gulf Coast, and about 10 miles east of Brownsville. The geography of the area is mostly flat, with some rolling hills in the northern parts of town. The climate is typically hot and humid in the summer months, with mild winters that rarely drop below freezing.

The history of Rio Hondo dates back to 1851 when it was first established as a settlement along the Rio Hondo River. It quickly grew into a small agricultural town that played an important role in supplying goods to other nearby towns. As time passed, Rio Hondo continued to grow and eventually became an incorporated city in 1960.

Today, Rio Hondo has a population of just over 4,000 people and has become known for its diverse culture and friendly people. Politically, it leans heavily Democratic but also has strong support for independent candidates as well.

The economy of Rio Hondo is largely based on agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. There are several large farms that produce a variety of crops including cotton, corn, wheat and soybeans; as well as several tourist attractions such as fishing charters on the Rio Grande River and bird-watching tours at nearby Bentsen State Park. Additionally, there are several manufacturing companies located within the city limits that provide employment opportunities for locals.

Rio Hondo ISD provides quality education to students from preschool through high school graduation levels with five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school campus located within city limits. The district also provides access to numerous extracurricular activities such as sports teams and clubs for students who wish to participate outside of their regular academic studies.

Some notable landmarks in Rio Hondo include La Lomita Chapel which was built in 1898; El Ranchito de los Ninos which serves as a children’s home; Los Ebanos Ferry which is one of only two cable ferries still operating along the U.S.-Mexico border; Bentsen State Park which offers recreational activities such as camping and bird-watching; La Casa de la Cultura which hosts cultural events throughout the year; as well as many historical sites related to early settlers who came to this area during its early days

Population: 1,942. Estimated population in July 2020: 2,082 (+7.2% change)
Males: 940 (48.4%), Females: 1,002 (51.6%)

Cameron County

Zip code: 78583

Median resident age: 32.3 years
Median household income: $26,250
Median house value: $44,900

Races in Rio Hondo:

  • Hispanic (82.7%)
  • Other race (20.5%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (16.1%)
  • Two or more races (1.7%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: United States (2.3%), German (1.6%), English (1.4%).

Elevation: 29 feet

Land area: 1.4 square miles

Rio Hondo, Texas


Rio Hondo is a small town located in the southern part of Texas. As of 2019, the population was 2,834 people according to the United States Census Bureau. The population is primarily Latino and Hispanic, making up over 90% of the population. The median age of residents is 34 years old, with a gender ratio of 51.3% female to 48.7% male. The median household income for Rio Hondo residents is $31,588 per year, which is significantly lower than the state’s median income of $55,653 per year. A significant portion of Rio Hondo’s population lives below the poverty line; in fact, nearly one-third (30%) live in poverty.

Education levels are low in Rio Hondo as well; only 17% have completed high school or higher and only 6% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Employment opportunities are also limited due to its rural location; most jobs are related to agriculture or manual labor such as construction and landscaping services. Despite these challenges, many Rio Hondo residents take pride in their community and strive to make it better each day through various initiatives and programs focused on creating economic opportunities for their families and neighbors.

For population 25 years and over in Rio Hondo

  • High school or higher: 48.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 6.3%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 1.8%
  • Unemployed: 10.0%
  • Mean travel time to work: 21.1 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Rio Hondo city

  • Never married: 25.4%
  • Now married: 58.4%
  • Separated: 2.8%
  • Widowed: 6.7%
  • Divorced: 6.7%

14.9% Foreign born (14.7% Latin America).

Population change in the 1990s: +153 (+8.6%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Rio Hondo:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Rio Hondo:

  • VALLEY INTL (about 5 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Abbreviation: HRL)
  • MC ALLEN MILLER INTL (about 46 miles; MC ALLEN, TX; Abbreviation: MFE)

Other public-use airports nearest to Rio Hondo:

  • PORT ISABEL-CAMERON COUNTY (about 19 miles; PORT ISABEL, TX; Abbreviation: PIL)
  • CHARLES R JOHNSON (about 24 miles; PORT MANSFIELD, TX; Abbreviation: T05)
  • MID VALLEY (about 28 miles; WESLACO, TX; Abbreviation: T65)

Amtrak station near Rio Hondo:

  • 9 miles: HARLINGEN (215 E. MONROE ST.) – Bus Station. Services: enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, public payphones.

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Rio Hondo:

  • TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE-HARLINGEN (about 8 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 2,167)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT BROWNSVILLE (about 22 miles; BROWNSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 6,044)
  • TEXAS SOUTHMOST COLLEGE (about 22 miles; BROWNSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,556)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN (about 43 miles; EDINBURG, TX; Full-time enrollment: 9,651)
  • SOUTH TEXAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 46 miles; MCALLEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 7,142)
  • TEXAS A & M UNIVERSITY-KINGSVILLE (about 89 miles; KINGSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,860)
  • TEXAS A & M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI (about 103 miles; Corpus Christi, TX; Full-time enrollment: 5,282)


Public high school in Rio Hondo:

  • RIO HONDO H S (Students: 599; Location: 215 W COLORADO; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Rio Hondo:

  • RIO HONDO EL (Students: 621; Location: 215 W COLORADO; Grades: PK – 02)
  • RIO HONDO J H (Students: 493; Location: 215 W COLORADO; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • RIO HONDO INT (Students: 462; Location: 215 W COLORADO; Grades: 03 – 05)
  • CAMERON CO J J A E P (Students: 2; Location: 215 W COLORADO; Grades: 06 – 12)


Library in Rio Hondo:

  • RIO HONDO PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $36,118; Location: 121 N ARROYO BLVD; 20,950 books; 67 audio materials; 528 video materials; 31 serial subscriptions)