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Del Rio, Texas

Coordinates: 29°21′50″N 100°54′00″W / 29.364°N 100.900°W / 29.364; -100.900
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Del Rio, Texas
City of Del Rio
City Hall
City Hall
Official logo of Del Rio, Texas
Location of Del Rio, Texas
Location of Del Rio, Texas
Coordinates: 29°21′50″N 100°54′00″W / 29.364°N 100.900°W / 29.364; -100.900
CountryUnited States
CountyVal Verde
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorAlvaro Arreola
 • City ManagerJohn Sheedy
 • Total20.51 sq mi (53.12 km2)
 • Land20.44 sq mi (52.94 km2)
 • Water0.07 sq mi (0.18 km2)
1,002 ft (305.4 m)
 • Total34,673
 • Density1,749.60/sq mi (675.53/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CST)
ZIP code
78840-78843, 78847
Area code830
FIPS code48-19792

Del Rio is a city in and the county seat of Val Verde County[1] in southwestern Texas, United States. As of 2020, Del Rio had a population of 34,673.[2][3]



The Spanish established a small settlement south of the Rio Grande in present-day Mexico, and some Spaniards settled on what became the United States side of the Rio Grande as early as the 18th century. Paula Losoya Taylor built the first hacienda in the area in 1862.[4] U.S. development on the north shore of the Rio Grande did not begin until after the American Civil War.

San Felipe Springs, about 8 mi (13 km) east of the Rio Grande on the U.S. side of the border, produces 90×10^6 US gal (340,000 m3) of water a day. Developers acquired several thousand acres of land adjacent to the springs, and to San Felipe Creek formed by the springs, from the state of Texas in exchange for building a canal system to irrigate the area. The developers sold tracts of land surrounding the canals to recover their investment and show a profit. The initial investors (William C. Adams, Joseph M. Hudson, John P. Grove, Donald Jackson, John Perry, Joseph Ney, Randolph Pafford, A. O. Strickland, and James H Taylor) formed the San Felipe Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Irrigation Company in 1868. The organization completed construction of a network of irrigation canals in 1871. Residents referred to the slowly developing town as San Felipe Del Rio because local lore said the name came from early Spanish explorers who offered a mass at the site on St. Philip's Day, 1635.

In 1883, local residents requested a post office be established. The United States Postal Department shortened "San Felipe del Rio" to "Del Rio" to avoid confusion with San Felipe de Austin. In 1885, Val Verde County was organized and Del Rio became the county seat. The City of Del Rio was incorporated on November 15, 1911.

The San Felipe community was started by the Arteaga family. Arteaga Street and Arteaga Park are named after them.

In September 2021, approximately 30,000 Haitian migrants crossed the border at Del Rio.[5] The United States Border Patrol moved many into a camp underneath the Del Río–Ciudad Acuña International Bridge.[5] The squalid conditions in the camp attracted widespread national attention.[5]



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 52.3 km2 (20.2 sq mi), of which 52.2 km2 (20.2 sq mi) are land and 0.1 km2 (0.039 sq mi), or 0.24%, is covered by water.[6]

Del Rio lies on the northwestern edges of the Tamaulipan mezquital, also called the South Texas brush country. It is also near the southwestern corner of the Edwards Plateau, which is the western fringe of the famous, oak savanna-covered Texas Hill Country; that area is dotted with numerous small springs; one of these is the San Felipe Springs, which provides a constant flow of water to San Felipe Creek. The creek supplied fresh water for drinking and irrigation to early settlers of Del Rio, and the springs are still the town's water supply.

The Del Rio region, to just west of the Pecos River, has a mix of desert shrub and steppe vegetation depending on soil type, with the gray-leafed cenizo (Leucophyllum spp.), several different acacias, cacti, and grama grasses dominant members of local flora. The terrain is mostly level, but some areas are dissected with substantial canyons and drainages, though none of the upland areas are elevated enough to be considered mountains.



Del Rio experiences a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh) with mild winters and hot, humid summers. High dewpoint temperatures occur during much of the warmer months, due to the terrain and prevailing surface winds from the southeast. In the spring and fall seasons, severe thunderstorms often build on the Serranías del Burro to the distant west of Del Rio, occasionally affecting Del Rio and uplands to the north. This occurs due to the uplift of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico which is channeled along the Rio Grande, combined with intense heating of lowland areas or frontal and dryline activity.[7] Temperatures peak in late summer and then quickly drop during autumn.

Climate data for Del Rio International Airport, Texas (1991–2020 normals,[a] extremes 1905–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 92
Mean maximum °F (°C) 81.4
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 67.5
Daily mean °F (°C) 55.6
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 43.6
Mean minimum °F (°C) 26.9
Record low °F (°C) 12
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.61
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.9 4.5 5.0 5.0 7.0 5.2 3.7 4.2 5.9 5.5 4.4 4.4 58.7
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
Source 1: NOAA[8]
Source 2: National Weather Service[9]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Del Rio racial composition[10]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[b]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 4,530 13.06%
Black or African American (NH) 383 1.1%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 36 0.1%
Asian (NH) 247 0.71%
Pacific Islander (NH) 23 0.07%
Some Other Race (NH) 61 0.18%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 319 0.92%
Hispanic or Latino 29,074 83.85%
Total 34,673

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 34,673 people, 12,300 households, and 8,898 families residing in the city.

2000 census


As of the census[12] of 2000, 33,867 people, 10,778 households, and 8,514 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,194.0 inhabitants per square mile (847.1/km2). The 11,895 housing units averaged a density of 770.6 per square mile (297.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 73.05% White American, 7.21% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 17.79% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 81.04% of the population.

Of the 10,778 households, 42.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.0% were not families. About 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.56.

In the city, the population was distributed as 31.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,387, and for a family was $30,788. Males had a median income of $27,255 versus $17,460 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,199. About 22.9% of families and 27.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.8% of those under age 18 and 26.4% of those age 65 or over.

Micropolitan area


Del Rio is the principal city of the Del Rio micropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Val Verde County;[13] the micropolitan area had an estimated population over 50,000 in 2007.[14] Located across from Del Rio, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, is the city of Ciudad Acuña, with a city population of 201,161.



Laughlin Air Force Base


In 1942, the Army Air Corps opened Laughlin Field 9 mi (14 km) east of Del Rio, as a training base for the Martin B-26, but the base was deactivated in 1945. As the Cold War pressures built, along with new border-control issues, Laughlin Field was rebuilt and renamed Laughlin Air Force Base and was again used as a home for flight training. Laughlin plays a large part in the Del Rio community as the area's largest employer.

Val Verde Correctional Facility


The GEO Group, a private correctional facility corporation based in Boca Raton, Florida, manages the Val Verde Correctional Facility in Del Rio. It has a contract to house offenders for the county, for the U.S. Marshals Service (male/female) prisoners, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection detainees. The facility opened in 2001 with 688 beds. In 2007, the facility was expanded to its current capacity of 1,400 beds. It is one of the major employers in the Del Rio area and meets standards required by state and federal guidelines.

Arts and culture


Some of the earliest surviving cultural artefacts in the region are various pictographs found in local caverns in and near the town. Some of these pictographs date as far back as 4,200 years when the people of precontact cultures in the region created pictographs in the caverns of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands Archeological District, a proposed National Historic Landmark.[15]: 1  The pictographs are preserved in part by the Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center, a local group which documents the pictographs, and creates educational material about them.[16]

The Whitehead Memorial Museum carries on the history of the culture created in Del Rio brought by mementos of Judge Roy Bean.

The Laughlin Heritage Museum Foundation educates the public about the importance of air power in sustaining the national security of the United States, and to preserve the heritage of Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

Del Rio is home to the oldest continuously running winery in Texas, the Val Verde Winery. The winery was established in 1883 by Italian immigrant Frank Qualia, who brought with him the family tradition of winemaking. Today, the winery is operated by third-generation vintner Thomas Qualia.

Brown Plaza in Del Rio

A cultural melting pot, Del Rio is home to a mix of ethnic and racial backgrounds including Hispanic, African American Seminole, Mestizo, and Tejano. Del Rio offers a variety of Southwestern cuisine including: Tex-Mex, Steakhouses, Barbecue, Authentic Mexican food and "Pan Dulce" or Mexican pastries.

The Upstagers have been performing award-winning live theater in Del Rio since 1977.

The Casa de la Cultural is a non-profit organization that provides community focused outlets for the youth and adults in Del Rio for over 40 years. It offers a revolving variety of classes based on the educational and cultural needs of the community, such as: Ballet Folklorico, Guitar, Singing, Knitting, Pottery, Art Camps, Latino Aerobics and Literacy classes. In the early 2000s, the Casa de la Cultura began Noches Musicales, a live summer music festival with food vendors and live music. The Casa de la Cultura celebrated their 14th annual Live Music Festival in June 2021.

The Del Rio Council for the Arts provides affordable arts and education and entertainment to the community and its surrounding areas.

Paul Poag Theatre

Del Rio is home to the George Paul Memorial Bullriding, which is the oldest stand-alone bull-riding event in the world.[17]

Some of the most notable celebrations in the community include: the Independence Day City-Wide Celebration, Cinco de Mayo, 16 de Septiembre, Fiesta de Amistad, and the Fiesta of Flight Air Show. Del Rio held its first ever Pride event in June 2019.

Del Rio is home to consulates of Guatemala and Mexico.[18][19]

The area is home to various religious profiles including: Christian, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist, Non-Denominational, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Spirit-Filled, Judaism, Seventh Day Adventist, and many more.



The city is served by the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District. About 10,450 students are enrolled and 637 teachers are employed at 14 campuses throughout the district.[citation needed] Del Rio is also home to Del Rio Heritage Academy High School, and Premier High School, two charter schools.[20][21]

Higher education


Two four year universities have campuses in Del Rio: Sul Ross State University and Park University.[22][23]

Southwest Texas Junior College, a two-year community college, has a campus in Del Rio.[24]

Main Street, circa 1910-1930





The Del Rio News-Herald was a daily newspaper published in Del Rio, covering Val Verde County, was owned by Southern Newspapers Inc.[25] The newspaper had a daily circulation of 10,400 and a Sunday circulation of 13,500.[26] The newspaper closed in November 2020.[27]

In 2020, The 830 Times, a local news sit covering Del Río and the wider region of southwest Texas is published weekly, launched its print and online newspaper.



There are multiple radio stations licensed to the area in and around Del Rio including, KDLK-FM, KTDR, KVFE, KWMC, KDRN, KTPD, KDLI.

In 2014, KVFE, a Christian station owned by Inspiracom, was launched to fill one of the ministry's remaining gaps on the US–Mexico border.[28]

In 2016, Texas Public Radio opened a transmitter in Del Rio.[29]

Kress Building



In 2020, The 830 Times, a local news site covering Del Rio and the wider region of southwest Texas, launched.[30]





Del Rio International Airport (FlyDRT) serves the city and surrounding area. American Airlines has operated flights twice daily between Del Rio and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in the past. The route is currently served by two cargo airlines. On January 5, 2023, the City of Del Rio announced that American Airlines will terminate service to DRT effective April 3, 2023, leaving Del Rio without scheduled air passenger service.

Transportation services to the citizens of Del Rio is provided by the City of Del Río Transportation Department.

Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Del Rio station through its combined Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle service. Trains serve the station thrice-weekly in each direction, with direct service to Los Angeles, San Antonio, New Orleans, Chicago, and points in between.

Major highways


Notable people


Del Rio features prominently (though scenes were shot elsewhere) in No Country for Old Men, the 2007 neo-Western thriller film directed, written, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.

Del Rio also served as a filming location and was featured in Leningrad Cowboys Go America, the 1989 Road Movie directed and written by acclaimed Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki.

Other presentations with a Del Rio setting include:

  • 1951 Arrowhead – Charlton Heston
  • 1955 The Last Command – Ernest Borgnine
  • 1958 Five Bold Women – Irish McCalla
  • 1960 John Wayne's The Alamo
  • 1960 The Spirit of the Alamo (TV) – NBC
  • 1960 The Roy Rogers Show (TV)
  • 1961 John Ford's – Two Rode Together – Jimmy Stewart
  • 1966 Top Hand (TV)
  • 1967 Aye, That Pancho Villa (TV)
  • 1967 Bandolero – Dean Martin
  • 1968 Children's West (Lon Chaney, Jr.) (TV)
  • 1973 A Death in Tombstone
  • 1974 The Sugarland Express – Goldie Hawn
  • 1974 The Texas Ballad (KLRN-TV)
  • 1977 Rolling Thunder (film)
  • 1978 Adventures of Jody Shanan
  • 1983 Call to Glory – Craig T. Nelson, Elisabeth Shue (TV)
  • 1986 Houston: The Legend of Texas (TV) – Sam Elliott
  • 1986 The Alamo – Thirteen Days To Glory (TV) – Alec Baldwin
  • 1986 No Safe Haven – Wings Hauser
  • 1987 Alamo: Price of FreedomCasey Biggs
  • 1988 Lonesome Dove (TV) – Robert Duvall
  • 1989 Gunsmoke – The Last Apache (TV) – James Arness
  • 1989 Leningrad Cowboys Go America
  • 1991 JCV Japanese Quiz Show (TV)
  • 1991 American Movie Classics (TV) – Bob Dorian
  • 1992 Rio Diablo (TV) – Travis Tritt
  • 1992 Travis Smith (direct to video)
  • 1993 Bad Girls – Madeleine Stowe
  • 1993 Like Water for Chocolate
  • 1993 El Mariachi, Robert Rodriguez
  • 1994 8 Seconds – Luke Perry
  • 1994 Gambler V: Playing for Keeps (TV) – Kenny Rogers
  • 1994 James A. Michener's Texas (TV) – John Schneider as Davy Crockett
  • 1995 Good Old Boys (TV) – Sam Shepard
  • 1995 Streets of Laredo (TV) – James Garner
  • 1995 A&E History Channel's The Alamo (TV)
  • 1995 Discovery Channel's – The Battles of the Alamo (TV)
  • 1995 PBS – Ken Burns The West (TV)
  • 1995 A&E Biography – Davy Crockett: American Frontier Legend (TV)
  • 1995 The Learning Channel's – Famous Battles – Alamo Segment (TV)
  • 1995 Discovery Channel's – Buffalo Soldiers (TV)
  • 1995 Desperado, Robert Rodriguez, Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek
  • 1996 From Dusk till Dawn Quentin Tarantino
  • 1996 Once Upon a Time In China and America – Sammo Hung
  • 1996 Lone Star – by director John Sayles
  • 1999 Alamo... The New Defenders (direct to video)
  • 1999 The Bullfighter – Domenica Scorsese
  • 1999 The History Channel's – Haunted San Antonio (TV)
  • 2000 Jericho Mark Valley – Leon Coffee – Buck Taylor
  • 2001 The History Channel's History vs Hollywood (TV)
  • 2002 Westown Sturghill Productions
  • 2004 Bandido, Carlos Gallardo, Scott Duncan
  • 2006 Blue Eyes – Walker Cable Productions
  • 2006 Mexican Gold – Walker Cable Productions
  • 2007 The Man Who Came Back – Walker Cable Productions – Eric Braden – Billy Zane
  • 2007 Friend of The Devil (TV Pilot)
  • 2007 No Country for Old Men
  • 2009 Not Forgotten
  • 2021 We're Here Season 2 – HBO [32]
  • 2024 The Long Game

Music videos

  • 1995 Brooks and Dunn – "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone"
  • 1995 Tim McGraw – "Refried Dreams"
  • 1996 Gary Hobbs – "Corazón de la Ardiente"
  • 1996 La Tropa – "The Sheriff"
  • 1999 Shade of Red – "Revolution"



Rincon del Diablo: The section where Barron St. meets Magnolia Street.

Barrio Chihuahua: In the southern part of the city, this neighborhood, named after the Chihuahua Soccer Field, is located between West Gibbs to the north, Texas State Spur 29 to the west, Garfield Ave., West Garfield to the southeast, and S. Ave F to the far east.

Buena Vista: Located near Buena Vista Park. Lake Amistad and North Del Rio are located past the Buena Vista area.

Cienegas Terraces: Outside the city limits, it is home to the "Duck Pond" and various ranches, on the west side of the city.

Eastside: Named by locals after the school on the corner of Bedell & 7th Street, the neighborhood is also home to Star Park. Surrounded by Veterans Boulevard to the west and E. Gibbs to the south, the neighborhood is home to the Val Verde Regional Medical Center.

San Felipe: The original neighborhood in Del Rio, the city originally got its name from it as in "San Felipe del rio", south of Barrio Chihuahua and the Northside. Home of the San Felipe Creek.

Qualia: Home to Val Verde Winery, the oldest operating winery in Texas.[33] Next door to the San Felipe neighborhood. Residents living within the Qualia area reference the neighborhood as "the one by the Winery," Many historical markers are located within the vicinity.

Westside: Home to Del Rio International Airport, the neighborhood is surrounded to the north by W. 15th, 18th, and 17th Streets, to the east by Veterans Blvd., and to the south by W. Gibbs bordering Chihuahua.

Comalia: A neighborhood isolated by the Woodlawn cemetery and a bridge that leads to the U.S.-Mexico border crossing, it can be found by traveling down W. 2nd Street.


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1991 to 2020.
  2. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[11]


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Explore Census Data".
  3. ^ "Mayor". City of Del Rio. Retrieved July 4, 2023.
  4. ^ Zumwalt, Glenda (July 4, 1977). "Earl Del Rioans Fought to Survive". Del Rio News Herald. Retrieved June 29, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b c Chappell, Bill (September 24, 2021). "Haitian Migrants Have Now Been Cleared From Del Rio Border Camp, U.S. Says". NPR. Archived from the original on September 25, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  6. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Del Rio city, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access – Station: Del Rio INTL AP, TX". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  9. ^ "NOAA Online Weather Data – NWS San Antonio". National Weather Service. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  10. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  11. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses Archived 2008-11-17 at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-11-20. Accessed 2008-12-10.
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (CBSA-EST2006-01)". 2006 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. April 5, 2007. Archived from the original (CSV) on September 14, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2007.
  15. ^ "Lower Pecos Canyonlands Archeological District" (PDF). www.nps.gov. National Park Service. September 28, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 6, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  16. ^ "About Us". shumla.org. Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center. Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  17. ^ George Paul Memorial Bullriding. Retrieved: May 13, 2011.
  18. ^ Barrio, Luis (August 26, 2019). "Guatemalan Consulate reaches out to the community". KGNS-TV. Archived from the original on September 24, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  19. ^ "Ubicación y horarios" [Location and hours] (in Spanish). Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (Mexico). May 4, 2021. Archived from the original on September 26, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  20. ^ "Del Rio". heritageacademy.net. Heritage Academy. Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  21. ^ "Premier High School - Del Rio". premierhighschools.com. Premier High Schools. Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  22. ^ "The Del Rio Campus". www.sulross.edu. Sul Ross State University. Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  23. ^ "Laughlin AFB Campus Center". a2e.park.edu. Park University. Archived from the original on September 8, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  24. ^ "Del Rio". www.swtjc.edu. Southwest Texas Junior College. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  25. ^ "Del Rio News-Herald". Del Rio News-Herald. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  26. ^ "Southern Newspapers". Southern Newspapers. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  27. ^ "Del Rio News-Herald announces closure; final edition to be published Wednesday". KSAT. November 18, 2020. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  28. ^ "KVFE-FM launches in Texas". RBR. February 19, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Texas Public Radio Expands To Del Rio". Texas Public Radio. May 5, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  30. ^ "About Us". 830times.com. The 830 Times. Archived from the original on August 4, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  31. ^ Diane Telgen (1993). Notable Hispanic American Women. VNR AG. pp. 183–. ISBN 978-0-8103-7578-9.
  32. ^ ‘We’re Here’ Trailer: The Queens Are Back For Season 2 And They're Coming To A Small Town Near You https://deadline.com/video/were-here-trailer-season-2-hbo/
  33. ^ "Val Verde Winery History". Val Verde Winery. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014.