Tag Archives: Mercedes

Doors Now Open for Janet Oliva Cortez

VIDA: Janet Oliva Cortez

The team at Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement knows all too well about doors closing in keeping underemployed and unemployed people in the Rio Grande Valley from career advancement and higher pay. Janet Oliva Cortez knows about those challenges. Cortez works for the Weslaco Independent School District as a data entry clerk. It’s a good employer, secure job, and a decent salary. Cortez knew, however, that without a degree,…

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Leadership Mid-Valley Offers Mini Grants

Leadership Mid Valley XV at its class fundraiser, Sabor de Weslaco, at Valley Nature Center in Weslaco. Funds from that night are going towards a mini grant program for Weslaco Chamber member businesses.

Leadership Mid-Valley Class XV is currently offering 20 $500 mini-grants to Mid-Valley businesses that are Weslaco Chamber Members. Applications are available online through June 3. Businesses will be selected by a lottery system on Facebook live on June 15. “These times have resulted in economic hardship for millions of small businesses throughout the United States and there is no better time to give back to our very own,” LMV Class…

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Mercedes Teacher Steps Out For In-Person Instruction

Physics teacher Roxana Merino, with the assistance of her husband, teaches a student outside Mercedes High School on May 8.

In this time of online teaching, one Mercedes teacher took a day off on May 8 to instruct her students in person. Donning gloves and a face mask while carrying around a large bottle of hand sanitizer, Mercedes High School physics teacher Roxana Merino stepped out to help some of her students with their assignments. Merino first set a block of time in the morning to teach and/or tutor her…

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RGV Businesses Move Quickly To New Normal

Family Nurse Practitioner Michael Menchaca is at 100-percent telemedicine during the coronavirus crisis. (Courtesy)

Rio Grande Valley businesses, like those around the country, are dealing with disruptions and an upheaval in a way of life unlike anything experienced in our lifetimes.  Here’s a look at how three RGV businesses prepared for what they knew was coming and how they are doing in adapting to a new normal. Menchaca Family Clinic Michael Menchaca didn’t wait for any official announcements for Menchaca Family Clinic. The family…

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The Smoking Oak Keeps Flame Going

Brisket sandwich from The Smoking Oak.

Mario Dominguez is a believer in the Central Texas style – and oak is the key. He starts the flame every Tuesday night at his hometown barbecue restaurant in Mercedes. It will then burn steady and sure for the next five days at The Smoking Oak. The line of customers starts forming before the noon hour at the BBQ restaurant on 546 Hidalgo Street. The oak burns slow, thus giving…

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Magnet Schools Adapt to Changing Times

Simulation Lab Facilitator Linda Valdez shows the variety of equipment in her lab at Med High

Engineering students are at work inside a new innovation lab building on the Mercedes campus of the South Texas Independent School District campus. They peer over laptops and move from table to table, conferring over projects and looking over numerical formulas that offer solutions.  “These kids know they’re not on an island,” said Gabe Valdez, an instructor at the school. “They collaborate. They look for opportunities to teach each other.”…

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Pointing a Business Skyward

Esteban Mejia Jr., founder and owner of Sky I.T. Solutions

Esteban Mejia Jr. has the restless energy of an Air Force veteran who once worked long shifts as a nuclear cruise technician. Returning home, the Mercedes native built an information technology business from scratch. He’s now working to extend his brand. “My dad would tell me, growing up, ‘Never back down from work,’’ he said. “So I’m always thinking, ‘what else, what else can I do?’” Mejia is the founder…

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Local Businesses Adapt to Thrive

Hardknox owner Rodney McClanahan

Small businesses across the Rio Grande Valley are moving quickly to adapt to a new and shocking environment they were thrown into by the coronavirus crisis. New days, new paths Linda’s Cakes & Desserts in Brownsville is now selling essential items such as eggs, milk, potatoes and beans in addition to their usual assortment of sweets. Hardknox Strength & Performance, also of Brownsville, is using its social media outlets to…

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Quiroga Uses Immigrant Experience As Motivation

Joe Quiroga is the first Valley banker to serve on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

It’s an eventful road from being a 6-year-old child and recent immigrant struggling to learn English to being on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Joe Quiroga has been on that journey. He recalls the days when as a young boy, he would spend hours at the library in the coastal Texas town of Palacios. Quirgoa would pore over books, taking in a new language.…

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