Socorro is a city in Socorro County, New Mexico, United States. Located in the Rio Grande Valley, it is at an elevation of 4,579 feet. In 2010, the city had a population of 9,051 and is the county seat. The city is approximately 74 miles south of Albuquerque and 146 miles north of Las Cruces. Socorro is also the site of Socorro County’s county courthouse.
Socorro’s history dates back to the 1600s, when Spanish settlers first trekked through the area. The first mission was established here in 1626, and was eventually abandoned during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. After the Civil War, the area went dormant for 130 years, but was resettled in 1815. Shortly after, the San Miguel Church was built and became a cultural center for the community.
In the United States, Socorro is home to the Socorro Consolidated School District, with approximately 2,000 students and 285 staff. It also contains one public high school. In addition to the school district, the city is home to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT), a state-funded research institution with about 1,500 undergraduate and 500 graduate students and 150 academic staff. Socorro’s economy also depends on agriculture, mining, and commercial enterprises.
Socorro was founded in 1598 when Juan de Onate led a group of Spanish explorers through the Jornada del Muerto. Piro Indians from the nearby Teypana pueblo, which is located in Socorro, gave the settlers water and food. The city was named Socorro, which means ‘help’, which later became the name of a small village that grew in the vicinity of the Rio Grande. In the late 1500s, the first Spanish expedition arrived in Socorro, and it was here that the Piro-speaking Teypana Pueblo welcomed the scouting party. The Piro people were known for their hospitality and were not afraid of foreigners. Their language was based on hand signs and was a great asset to the Spanish.
The water from the mines in Socorro are classified into two groups, by the water type and the Ca/Sr ratio. The Industrial Well in Socorro falls into the Ca-Na-HCO3 group, while the Eagle Picher well has high As levels. The Industrial Well is the second source of water. The city also has three wells located in the La Jencia Basin recharge area. A study conducted by the University of New Mexico showed that the city’s water is safe to drink.
Socorro Springs Brewing Company is a popular destination restaurant for locals. It is an oasis of color in an otherwise monochromatic town. Locals love their brew, so this brewery is quickly establishing itself as a local favorite. A few years ago, this brew pub had an odd spelling, but nowadays, the name has become synonymous with the restaurant. This restaurant is a multi-hued swath of color in the town.