To be honest, I never did either but I stumbled across the story online and it's pretty interesting.

Dona Ana is both a nearby county in New Mexico ... the 2nd most populated in the entire state ... and is also an unincorporated "village" located on the outskirts of El Paso's northern neighbor, Las Cruces. Cruces is also the Dona Ana county seat. The most popular story about how these two areas got their name involves two different women. Here are the two, most often heard, legends.

Number 1 involves a descendant of one of the oldest colonists to come to the area.  Pedro Robledo showed up around these parts in 1598, seeking riches along with Juan de Oñate. Robledo's granddaughter, Dona Ana Robledo died in the Las Cruces area at the age of 76, was buried near a mountain named for her grandfather, and is thought by many historians to be the village ... and eventual county ... namesake. (

Story number 2 involves a different lady described by a National Park Service document as "a shadowy woman named Doña Ana Córdoba who was reputed to have lived in the area in the early 1600s". ( That link also credits a National Park Service document as saying that Córdoba was "known for her charity and agricultural prowess". The village of Dona Ana itself is one of the earliest Spanish settlements in southern New Mexico and it has played many, (often very crucial), roles in the history of the Mesilla Valley.

It's also an easy day trip from El Paso and with the beautiful weather forecast for this weekend, would make an awesome bike ride. (Motorcycles are always a great way to get out, have fun, and maintain your social distance!) To learn more, click here.

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