Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


LOS ARRIEROS, TEXAS. Los Arrieros is on the Rio Grande off U.S. Highway 83 ten miles northwest of Roma-Los Saenz in western Starr County. It is an old Spanish-speaking community dating to the eighteenth century. The name is Spanish for mule drivers. The location of the Arrieros Ranch has been identified as the site of the El Cántaro ford near Mier, Tamaulipas, which played a key role in the development of Nuevo Santander. In the late 1680s Alonso de León reportedly crossed the ford during one of his attempts to find Fort St. Louis. Los Arrieros was founded by descendants of followers of Spanish colonizer José de Escandón. It is mentioned as a ranch headquarters in the 1800 church census of Mier, Nuevo Santander, Mexico, as it was a part of the Mier municipality until 1848. It is again mentioned in a memorandum of 1848, explaining to the state of Tamaulipas that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had cost the municipality 80 percent of its territory, and 400 people on ten ranches north of the Rio Grande, including Arrieros. By 1990 only a few homes remained near the river and on the gravel roads of the old town. By that time most of the people had moved up to Highway 83, where their homes stretched from the west part of the old 83 cutoff for two or three miles to the Salineño turnoff. About 300 people lived in this area, most of them from Los Arrieros. A few were from Chapeño, a settlement that broke up after the building of Falcon Dam.


Octavio Herrera Perez, Anales y testimonios del cántaro (Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas: Instituto Tamaulipeco de Bellas Artes, 1986). Virgil N. Lott and Mercurio Martinez, The Kingdom of Zapata (San Antonio: Naylor, 1953). Florence J. Scott, Historical Heritage of the Lower Rio Grande (San Antonio: Naylor, 1937; rev. ed., Waco: Texian, 1966; rpt., Rio Grande City, Texas: La Retama Press, 1970).

Dick D. Heller, Jr.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Dick D. Heller, Jr., "LOS ARRIEROS, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on!