As El Paso County’s 2nd poor farm, originally named the "El Paso Poor Farm", Rio Vista Farm had a long-standing history from 1915-1964 of helping the indigent population. The facility was scheduled to close in 1929 but the increase in the farm’s population due to the Depression era kept it open.
Renamed Rio Vista Farm, the facility hosted a variety of public welfare programs. From 1951-1964 the farm was used as a reception and processing center for the Bracero Program.
The Bracero Program (1942-1964) was initiated by the US government in 1942 and consisted of the importation of temporary contract laborers from Mexico to the United States. The program allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in the US. The Bracero Program had a significant effect on the business of farming and contributed to the growth of the agricultural economy during that time.
In 1964, new federal welfare programs and state law reduced the farm’s population drastically; the farm closed that year.
In 1996, Rio Vista Farm Historic District was named on the National Register of Historic Places in efforts to preserve the remaining agricultural workers’ barracks.
800 Rio Vista Rd.
El Paso, Texas 79927