Category Archives: Professional Services

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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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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Edinburg Agent Perseveres Through Challenges

Priscilla Cavazos took her first job in the insurance industry at the age of 18, not imagining herself one day owning her own agency.

When 18-year-old Priscilla Cavazos walked through the doors of Fred Loya Insurance in 2003 to begin her new job, little did she know that 18 years later, she would walk into another insurance office every day.  This office is in Edinburg and bears her name – Priscilla Cavazos Insurance Agency. At the time, Cavazos also did not realize the role that first insurance job would play in shaping her future.…

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Beekeeper Keeps Family Tradition Alive

Busy bees work at Lozar Apiaries in Edinburg.

Miguel Lozano holds a tiny wooden box with a mesh top and points to what’s crawling underneath it.  There’s a queen bee in there of European origin. It’s an important distinction, he said, because when she’s put in a hive, this queen will center a cluster of bees with Africanized roots, the ones dubbed “killer bees.” “She will calm the box,” Lozano said, looking out toward several hives in boxes…

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New Ideas Sprouting At Weslaco Therapy Business

Yvonne Reyes, an occupational therapist, owns Sprouts Sensory Garden in Weslaco. (Courtesy)

There’s a little patch of green on Texas Boulevard in downtown Weslaco. The morning sun lights up a beautiful courtyard that’s lush and green with oak trees and a small playhouse with hanging plants. It’s the sort of place of calm and reflection that Yvonne Reyes seeks in bringing her patients for therapy. Reyes, an occupational therapist, works to improve the focus, motor skills and sensory perceptions of her patients.…

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Beekeepers Protect While Valuing Role Of Bees

The team in action tries to locate the hive inside the wall of a garage in Primera.

The Rio Grande Valley is facing the double whammy with the 2020 hurricane season and the continuing pandemic as the region heads into the fall months. Area residents shouldn’t let their guard down to other factors that could impact their lives. Bee swarms are an example of that. These flying insects can appear unexpectedly either ganged up on the limb of one’s favorite backyard tree. They can be crawling up and down,…

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Busy Bristles Uses Art For New Understandings

Cynthia Duran is gearing up to start another school year – in whatever form that may take – but she’s always teaching. The Weslaco school district art educator has navigated through an interesting summer at her Busy Bristles Art Studio. The downtown Weslaco business also had its COVID-19 ups and downs. The enthusiasm for art never waned.  The interest of children and adults to get before a canvas again ran…

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Valley Businesses Regroup, Adjust To Life

Dien Nguyen says business is returning to his nail salon in San Juan. (VBR)

Adam Shidler stayed busy in the two weeks his Weslaco business was closed. Government-mandated shutdowns due to COVID-19 kept his downtown coffee shop temporarily shuttered. Shidler used the time to do maintenance and upkeep at Weslaco’s Daily Grind. Working in his shop, customers would see him inside and knock on windows and wave hellos. Weslaco’s Daily Grind’s customers missed their coffee shop – and the feelings were mutual.  “Our friends…

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It Pays to Shop Local in Harlingen

Shop Local

Shopping or dining Harlingen local businesses may pay off for some customers. The Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the “Shop Local” Lucky Draw contest the entire month of May. Each week, the Harlingen Chamber will hold a drawing and give away a $50 give card from a Harlingen business. To enter the weekly drawing, customers need to make a purchase at a participating business. Then they must write…

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