Author Archives: Josie Maureen Barrera

Josie M. Barrera is a creative writer and an artist from Alton, Tx. With a BA in English, and a minor in Studio Art, she has always been fond of connecting the two. She is a big supporter of small businesses and loves attending local events in the community. In the past, her works have revolved around SEO writing for digital marketing agencies. Josie looks forward to shedding some light on local small business owners and their success in providing something their community can enjoy.

Eating Plant-Based for the Planet

The Healing Factory of McAllen features a colorful interior in addition to healthy foods, juices and smoothies.

The first official Earth Day dates back to April 22, 1970, starting as a way to educate the general public about environmental issues. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and now, more than ever, we have the power to contribute to the planet’s well-being. One of the changes we can implement in our everyday lives is transitioning to a plant-based diet. There are many benefits that accompany…

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Modern-Day Pioneers – a Celebration

With March being Women’s History Month, we celebrate the brave, bold and fearless women who are influencing the Rio Grande Valley. The RGV is home to so many individuals who have dreams and aspirations to create something to call their own. In this feature, VBR picks the minds of the women pioneering what entrepreneurship looks like in the modern era – from mindset to the key to success. The Brave…

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Team Tiger Puts the HEART in Martial Arts

Tiny Tigers are the youngest group with children as young as 4 years old.

The RGV is home to many incredible local businesses that strive to make an impact on the community. Among them are those who have a dedication to instilling life lessons such as anti-bullying through the art forms of martial arts and taekwondo.  Team Tiger Martial Arts was first established nearly 15 years ago out of founder Gilberto Villanueva’s home in Palmhurst, Texas. The licensed chemical dependency counselor came across victims…

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Start the New Year off with Charming Picnics!

The most adorable way to celebrate milestones has arrived and it’s taking the Rio Grande Valley by sweet surprise. Proud small business owner Esli Escobedo is the brains behind Charming Picnics. The Alamo native is thrilled to have so much support from the community early on in her journey. How it came to be Growing up around her entrepreneur father, Esli has always known she wanted to follow in his…

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Brewery Apprenticeship Tackles Regional Demand

Veteran-owned and operated 5×5 Brewing Co. is a craft brewery in Mission that is pioneering high quality beer by tackling a labor issue early on. There is an ever-increasing interest for craft beer amongst RGV locals. A brewery apprenticeship program could very well be the missing link between supply and demand in our area. With their rapid growth, 5X5 Brewing Co. anticipates labor issues to arise regarding the abundance of…

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A Taste of the Holidays in the RGV

The Rio Grande Valley is bursting with flavor. Everywhere you turn, you see a growth of local restaurants and cafés within the small business community. Follow this guide to make the most of the holidays and bless your taste buds with unexpected [seasonal] flavors that you will be grateful you tried. The Main Course – Salome on Main Salome on Main is the product of Jessica Delgado and Chef Larry…

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Ways to Give Back with Food Bank RGV

Volunteers Miguel Angel Garza, Leonardo Molina and Maria Garcia sort goods, preparing them to be properly stored and await distribution.

The holidays are around the corner, reminding us of the countless blessings in our lives. For others, this may be a reminder of what they don’t have. Fortunately, there are several opportunities for the community to come together and give back to those in need. One of the ways we can aim to do so is by taking part in volunteering at Food Bank RGV.  “The RGV is just a…

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Serving the Community as Au-Some Cuts

Alexia Saenz with her mother Lily Saenz, whose help got the salon running.

“Au-some Cuts is a sensory friendly hair salon created for children & adults with disabilities. Our hair salon was designed with the purpose and dedication of providing accommodations for clients with special needs.” – Au-Some Cuts LLC, Facebook It’s a beautiful thing when you find the middle ground between your passion and your calling. This young female entrepreneur that was able to do just that. Meet Alexia Saenz, the 24-year-old…

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Living Life in Terms of Music

Founder of Musical Living Academy Edelir Garza offers one of his students some pointers after a private lesson.

Exploring a unique avenue in education is Edelir Garza, founder, instructor and owner of Musical Living Academy in McAllen. Garza knew that this was the next step in his musical journey. Music had been instilled in his heart since he was only 8 years old. “I remember listening to songs and there was this one that would stand out above all … it wasn’t until my father helped me pinpoint…

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