Author Archives: Ricardo Cavazos, VBR content editor

Ricardo D. Cavazos is a journalist and business executive who has over 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and publisher and is currently managing allied health schools in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. Working for Freedom Communications, Cavazos served as editor of The Monitor for eight years and was publisher of The Brownsville Herald for 14 years. He also served as publisher of the Valley Morning Star for one year and launched two Spanish-language publications - El Nuevo Heraldo and El Extra. He is an Edinburg native currrently living in Harlingen.

Analysts See RGV Economy Making Gains

Major hospitals are expanding and growing across the Valley.

The Rio Grande Valley’s real estate market currently has a scarcity of existing homes for sale. Residents holding on to properties as the region and country exits out of an economy influenced by the pandemic.  This analysis was among the views offered recently during a 2021 Rio Grande Valley Economic Forecast & Market Incentives virtual summit co-hosted by the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation. The event, which spanned over three hours,…

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Pluton Brewing Growth With BCIC

Good times and hard work are had at Pluton Brewery. (Courtesy)

There are stories of rock bands and software engineers getting modest starts working out of their garages on their first steps to success.  It worked for Van Halen and Steve Jobs. In Brownsville, there’s a hometown brewery that got its start among friends in a westside neighborhood off the Military Highway. Pluton Brewery Company was named after a street by that name in the Galaxia neighborhood. This is where some…

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Local Builder Builds His Own Success

New homes are popping up throughout Harlingen and includes this NEST home along Garrett Road.

Jason Cano as a young homebuilder learned the business from his father. He could have taken a traditional path in being employed by a construction company and working his way up. The Harlingen native, as a fresh college graduate in 2004, went through several job interviews with national home building companies. He was offered various positions. It wasn’t for him, Cano decided. He wanted the freedom and latitude to take…

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RGV Airports Roar Back With Flights, Facilities

The sleek new terminal at Brownsville/South Padre International Airport (Courtesy, Alan Hollander, Tequila Group)

Valley International Airport last spring resembled a high school campus in June. “Empty hallways” is how Jose Mulet, the airport’s director of air service and development described it in looking back to the start of what would be a difficult year for the U.S. aviation industry.  In McAllen, City Manager Roel Rodriguez said McAllen International Airport “went through the worst year it has ever seen, maybe, and will ever see,…

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Youth Sports Lead The Way To Recovery

Soccer tournaments are a key part of the youth sports events McAllen hosts every year. (Courtesy)

The road back to tourism recovery in McAllen leads through its youth soccer, baseball, softball and football fields in the view of a city official who has spent years cultivating relationships that have brought teams and visitors by the thousands to local parks. Robert Lopez, the vice president of Visit McAllen, is hardly allowing the setbacks of 2020 to temper his ambitions to bring more youth sports events and tournaments…

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Educators Extend Passion Into Business

Armonia Music Academy & Store owners and instructors Karina Vela and Ari Gonzalez.

Avi Gonzalez and Karina Vela have plenty to do with their day jobs as public school music educators.  In early 2020, they added even more to their duties in opening a business with a connection to what they know best. The Armonia Music Academy & Store in San Benito is their version of the School of Rock with an emphasis on violins, acoustic guitars and vocals.  The partners have turned…

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Reyna’s Bar-B-Q Forges Path of Service & Soulful Food

Anything you can ask for from a barbecue restaurant is available at Reyna's.

Growing up in Weslaco, Zeke Reyna had big dreams growing up during the glory years when Tiger Woods dominated the golf world. “I always thought I’d win the Masters,” Reyna said. He didn’t quite get there although he was an outstanding high school golfer. Reyna was good enough to compete collegiality at SMU in Dallas and then the University of Oregon. He went on to spend some time on the…

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Authenticity & History Fuel La Placita Reemergence

What appeared to be a risky location choice has paid off for Thomas Garza and Bandera Coffee.

Thomas and Ashley Garcia were aspiring entrepreneurs in the summer of 2018 and looking for the right spot to start their coffee shop business. The location they chose to open their Bandera Coffee seemed unorthodox at the time. It was on Van Buren Avenue in the La Placita section of downtown Harlingen. Thomas described it as part of town that had “a rough reputation,” but he and his wife decided…

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Front Yard Displays Spread Cheer

Cynthia Salazar and Carlos Rivera of Yard Fonts of Edinburg.

Even through challenges, separations and hardships, the need to share special moments or celebrate never diminishes. The spreading of good cheer is a celebrated part of life, and Yard Fonts and RGV Yard Cards are both instrumental in bringing families and friends together one yard at a time. With their decorative and creative front yard displays, the two Hidalgo County-based businesses splash color and spark celebrations, especially when loved ones…

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Produce Company Opens Major Facility

Pineapples are among the products coming from Latin America to the Robinson Fresh facility. (VBR)

Weslaco often touts itself as a strategic mid-point in the Rio Grande Valley. Here, goods and services can move quickly and efficiently to all points in the region. The marketing pitch rang true to Robinson Fresh, one of the largest produce companies nationally. It is making a move to utilize a 46,000-square-foot facility at the Mid-Valley Industrial Park which will serve as a storage and distribution point for fresh produce…

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