Acala is on the Rio Grande and State Highway 20, thirty-four miles northwest of Sierra Blanca near the Southern Pacific tracks in southwestern Hudspeth County. It was founded before 1925, when a post office was established with Mrs. Julia A. Vaughn as postmistress. In 1927 Acala had a population of fifty; two years later that figure had doubled. By the mid-1930s, however, the population had fallen to an estimated ten. It increased gradually over the next three decades, from an estimated seventy-five in the late 1930s to ninety in the late 1940s and 100 in the late 1950s. Subsequently, however, it fell again; in the late 1960s it was estimated at fifty and in the early 1970s at twenty-five, where it remained in 1990 and 2000. Acala was named for the long-staple cotton of Mexican origin grown in the area; it is the site of numerous canals and wells dug for irrigation.