This article documents the transition from the Late Classic to Postclassic periods at Río Amarillo, a hinterland outpost of the Copan polity, and at an associated residential group, Site 5, in the Río Amarillo East Pocket of the Copan Valley. Late Classic period evidence indicates that the site of Río Amarillo operated as an administrative center for the Copan polity with the likely objective of increased agricultural production for the burgeoning population in the Copan Pocket. In the Terminal Classic period, Río Amarillo shared the fate of Copan, with evidence indicating it was burned and sacked. However, unlike the Copan Pocket, many residential groups remained occupied during the Early Postclassic. Here we focus on Site 5. An unbroken occupation from the Late Classic through to the end of the Early Postclassic period, as this site provides a window into an existence without the requirements of tribute given to their western neighbor. We hypothesize that the smaller settlement size and higher amount of rainfall in this valley pocket, as well as a richer and more diversified environment, were important factors in the survival of some of its population.