The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Ranchito, TX

Alicia A. Garza General

Ranchito, also known as El Ranchito and Ranchita, is a colonia located at the junction of U.S. Highway 281 and Farm Road 1577, six miles south of San Benito in southern Cameron County. It originated as a flag stop when the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway built a spur from Harlingen to Brownsville in the early 1900s. By 1970 Ranchito had approximately 100 dwellings, a cemetery, and a church. In 1976 it had a population of 765 and 144 homes. Ten years later the colonia had a population of 509 and 113 dwellings and was served by the Military Highway Water Supply Corporation. By 1990 Ranchito was part of a census-designated region, with a population of 1,143, that also included two other colonias, Encantada and El Calaboz. By 2000 that figure had increased to 2,100.

Colonias in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas: A Summary Report (Policy Research Project Report No. 18, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, 1977).


  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans


  • Communities

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Alicia A. Garza, “Ranchito, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: