Tag Archives: Mercedes

Magic Valley Empowers Communities

Kids in Lasara at the playground built and funded by Magic Valley and Noble Builders. (photo MVEC)

The first Magic Valley Electric Cooperative utility pole went up in 1937. It was on Mile 9 West in Weslaco. The cooperative was in business and would establish seven principles that would guide it. The seventh principle is one that is at the heart of what Magic Valley has done for more than 80 years. It’s “Concern For Community,” as the value states. This is a value that still lives…

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Planting the Banking Seed

A commemorative bill marking launch of First National Bank of Mercedes in 1920.

  A drive into town for Jose Platon Ortega usually meant a stop at the bank. For Ortega there was only one bank – the First National Bank of Mercedes. He was greeted there by friendly tellers, with one in particular knowing his account number by memory. “Veinticinco, cuarenta dos, diecinueve,’” said Saul Ortega, Jose’s son, who grew up knowing his Dad’s account number of 254219.  Jose Platon Ortega was a…

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Big Boots Are Filled

In the mid-1990s, Carlos Rodriguez found himself back in his native Mexico. He had an industrial engineering degree in hand, but with an economy in tatters, he found no real jobs in his field. “I had no job, no car, no nothing, but a lot of enthusiasm to start a new adventure,” he recalled. Rodriguez had just returned from Canada. Here he took intensive English classes in Vancouver to bolster…

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Going Country With a Little Nashville

A country-western band performs as a recent Little Nashville event in Mercedes. (Courtesy)

The last Thursday of each month, a little slice of Nashville comes to the Rio Grande Valley city known for its country western roots. Mercedes is the home of the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show and with a renowned history of boot-making. The city also hosts Little Nashville, now in its third year, on the corner of Fourth and Ohio streets in its downtown the last Thursday of each month.…

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SBA Programs: Woman-Owned Small Business Program & Funding Options

This workshop is a two-part series, with the first part discussing financing options with a panel of lenders. Following is the Woman-Owned Small Business and Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business certifications. Topics include: What are the SBA funding options for small business? How can you grow your business with the SBA? What the WOSB and EDWOSB programs pertain. Registration is required.

Veterans Benefits Seminar

veterans seminar

The American Legion Family of Post 172 in Mercedes hosts a seminar featuring Veterans Service Officer Fred Cavazos speaking on nine benefits veterans have earned. Topics include: Disability compensation Special benefits for certain disabled veterans Non-service-connected disability pension Benefits for surviving spouses and orphans VA medical benefits Employment benefits VA educational benefits Other benefits State and local benefits The DAV: Who we are and what we do There will also…

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Converting Art to Boots

Henry Camargo in his shop working over leathers.

Henry Camargo dispenses with any high-tech gadgetry when it comes to making boots. After five decades of stitching, sewing, hammering and stretching leathers to make boots for celebrities and common folk alike, Camargo said he’ll stick to the time-tested basics of the craft. “I’m old school,” Camargo said at his Mercedes shop Camargo’s Western Boots on Business 83. “I do everything by hand.” By his side is his brother, Santos,…

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Saddle Up For the RGV Livestock Show

The Livestock Show provides area youth with the opportunity to compete for prizes in exhibiting their projects.

It’s time for the 80th edition of the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show, as the iconic event continues to showcase its connections to area communities. “Ask anyone who has grown up in Mercedes and the Rio Grande Valley, and they will name the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show & Rodeo as one of the best-known and attended events of each year,’’ said Beatrice de Leon Edwards, a local historian and…

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Boots are Made for Walking

Ryan Vaughan was recently promoted from general manager to president and chief executive officer of bootmaker Rios of Mercedes. (VBR)

From his catbird seat of an office, Ryan Vaughan oversees three brands of boots that are made and crafted by hand every week at Rios of Mercedes. The iconic Rio Grande Valley company traces its roots back to Zeferino Rios, the father of boot making in the region. The three companies operating under one extended roof today at Rios are continuing that legacy – and doing so under the leadership…

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Prescription for Success

Adrian Cervantes parlayed the success of Mid-Valley Pharmacy into another business, RGV Hometown Pharmacy in Harlingen. (VBR)

Success pushed Mid-Valley Pharmacy to a new location in Mercedes this year. Robert Zamora, John Hinkle and Adrian Cervantes had purchased the pharmacy in 2004 Even when the pharmacists bought the business 14 years ago, the pharmacy building was small. “People were used to going there,” Cervantes said. “We struggled with the idea of changing locations, but we outgrew the space. We needed something better for us, for our employees…

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