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Hondo, New Mexico

Hondo is an unincorporated community in Lincoln County, New Mexico, United States. It is located about five miles downstream (east) from Ruidosos Downs, where the Rio Bonito and Rio Ruidoso rivers join together to form the Rio Hondo. It is located at the point where U.S. Route 70 is joined by U.S. Route 380, which conjoined route continues eastward. It has had a post office since 1900.[3]

Hondo is located in New Mexico
Location within the state of New Mexico
Hondo is located in the United States
Hondo (the United States)
Coordinates: 33°23′30″N 105°16′29″W / 33.39167°N 105.27472°W / 33.39167; -105.27472Coordinates: 33°23′30″N 105°16′29″W / 33.39167°N 105.27472°W / 33.39167; -105.27472
CountryUnited States
StateNew Mexico
Elevation5,230 ft (1,590 m)
 (July 2007)[2]
 • Total1,081
Time zoneUTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)575
GNIS feature ID923610


The community was founded by Hispanic settlers from the Rio Grande valley in the 1880s after the U.S. Army had controlled the Apache in the area.[citation needed] It was originally called La Junta (the junction) because of the joining of the Rio Bonito and the Rio Ruidoso.[4] Later it was called Hondo (deep) after the river.[4]

Prior to settlement, the Apache lived in the area, and skirmishes continued to occur after the establishment of Fort Stanton. According to an interview of Frank Coe, settlers arriving before 1861 lived in placitas, or "adobe family compounds enclosed for defensive purposes", which are still visible in the linear layout Hondo continues to maintain today.[5] The earliest settlers ranched and farmed, sometimes trading with Fort Stanton.[5]

By the 1930s, U.S. Route 70 was built, passing fairly north of Hondo. By then, the community consisted of a school, community buildings, and several households.[5]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hondo, New Mexico
  2. ^ "Hondo New Mexico" CityData
  3. ^ Pearce, T. M. (1965) "Hondo" New Mexico place names; a geographical dictionary University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, p. 71, OCLC 420847
  4. ^ a b Julyan, Robert (1998) "Hondo" The Place Names of New Mexico (revised edition) University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, p. 169, ISBN 0-8263-1689-1
  5. ^ a b c SWCA Environmental Consultants; New Mexico Department of Transportation. "Hondo" (PDF). Hondo Valley Snapshots. Retrieved 2019-02-13.

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