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Medina EC News

Day Trips in South Texas

La Santa Cruz and Rio Grande City

Last year, while driving to get from the Hondo office to Rio Grande City, it dawned on me: We serve a beautiful part of South Texas. I’ve known it all along, but it’s easy to forget between work and kids and moving from one meeting to the next deadline.

From the small, local restaurants, to all the neat things to see: the 17 counties and countless towns we serve have a lot to offer. We decided to feature some of these things in our 2018 calendar—available in our offices while supplies last! We will also feature them in this magazine. Look for the gold star on our logo to know approximately where we are each month.

We hope you’ll enjoy this series of articles as we take you across Medina EC’s service area this year. And, we hope that you will choose to grab your sunglasses, and some snacks, fill up the car and actually visit some of these places for some daytrips. If you do visit, post a photo from your trip on our Facebook page and we will send you a Medina EC hat for your next trip! And if you have an idea for something else we should feature, send us an email at MyCoop@MedinaEC.org.

So hop in and let’s go!

—Katie Kothmann Haby, Medina EC Editor 

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a small town in Starr County, located off Hwy 83 near Rio Grande City.

In Spanish, Santa Cruz means “holy cross” and a large cross that sits on Loma de la Cruz overlooking the community is known as La Santa Cruz. The cross, which features a crucified Jesus Christ, is said to commemorate rainfall that broke a six-year drought from 1888 until 1894.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, the area was a station on the Rio Grande City Railway and served as an irrigation-farm project called Dreamland. It is now home to a small community and the Starr County Industrial Park. In 2013, the 10-foot tall cross was stolen, and community members raised money to replace it. A new cross now sits at the site where the old one used to be.

In addition to the cross, the Santa Cruz area offers a good opportunity to see local cactus, butterflies and birds, and the view from Loma de la Cruz can’t be beat.

Rio Grande City
Then you can head to Rio Grande City to grab a bite to eat. Consider Casa de Abobe, Caro’s, Fina’s or La Escondida. If you’re used to Tex-Mex food, be prepared that what you order may not be what you are expecting. But, no matter where you go or what you order, we can assure you it will be delicious. Brush up on your Spanish because many people in the area use it as their primary language.

While you are in Rio Grande City, visit Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. Built to resemble the shrine in Lourdes in the South of France, much of it was built by a priest from Germany who was the pastor at a church in Rio Grande City. The shrine features plants native to the area, rocks gathered from Roma and petrified wood from Escobares, both communities near Rio Grande City.

Don’t end up in the wrong place! Ironically, there is another Santa Cruz, Texas. Located in Duval County, part of which is also served by Medina EC, it now consists only of a cemetery. You could stop by it on your drive to Santa Cruz in Starr County.