As we spring into May, there is a sense of growth and wonder in the air.
How fitting is it that we will very soon be celebrating nature’s magic of motherhood.
As I look back to my own childhood, it was evident through the years that we celebrated Mother’s Day unlike any other holiday.
Throughout the year there were holidays wherein my tio & tias could not make the journey home to be with family.
However, everyone found their way home to be with my grandmother on Mother’s Day, even if only for a few hours to enjoy one meal together.
The love and reverence we have for our mothers is one like no other.
As we, mothers, prepare to celebrate our special day, I have a question for you:
Do you love & revere yourself?
The expectations & demands that are put on mothers today have evolved.
Although we live in a world with more opportunities, that also brings more challenges.
There are traditional moms.
There are single moms.
There are stay-at-home moms & working moms & moms going back to school
There are grandmas being moms.
There are moms of 12 and moms of 1.
There are grieving moms.
Regardless of which mom you are, you probably have at least one thing in common with every mom … you have probably asked yourself, at least once, “Am I doing this right?”
We have the toughest job in the world – we are raising little humans.
It is understandable to experience doubt, guilt & heartache along the way.
Be reassured & encouraged today.
Embrace the season you are in now, for seasons change and you will never get this day back.
Make the most of the time you have with your children; the years are long, but the days are short.
What my children seem to remember most were the little things, like the heart to heart talks while we drove to no particular destination with the music on.
Choose your battles, like enjoying a family movie night even if the house isn’t spotless.
Love your children; children should never have to earn our love, but rest in it.
Above all, love yourself.
~ Happy Mother’s Day ~
The Del Rio Hispanic Chamber (DRHCC) held a recognition event for Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the Texas Community Bank Hall. Over the years, we have seen a rise in women entrepreneurs making headway and owning profitable businesses. Women’s Entrepreneurship Day recognizes this contribution and seeks to promote a more conducive environment for business women.
The Del Rio Hispanic Chamber (DRHCC) is honored to celebrate 15 years of service to its community. It started out as a few fellow citizens with a mission to bridge the gap between the Hispanic community and the business world. From advocating for local businesses, tourism, education, productive workforce, and much more, the DRHCC would not have reached this milestone without all those (both past and present) who have helped along the way.
We want to give a sincere thank you to each and every person who has participated in making this organization into what it has become today and we look forward to the years to come. Anything is possible when we work together for a better tomorrow! - Sergio Diaz
On May 6, 2021, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, U.S. Border Patrol Del Rio Sector, City Officials, Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Del Rio Chamber of Commerce, Governor of Estado de Coahuila de Zaragoza, Coahuila Economic Development Officials, Ciudad Acuña Mayor and other officials met to discuss border protection and economic development. Border authorities discussed a program called “se busca” a program designed to improve border protection.
This bilateral meeting also served as an opportunity to discuss and provide an update of the progress of an initiative created by a promotional group, which the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a member of. The initiative is a bilateral strategy to promote the Acuña-Del Rio port of entry for more commercial traffic. Ing. Miguel Angel Riquelme Solis, Governor of the State of Coahuila de Zaragoza explained that there are plans for the construction of five loops that will address infrastructure issues and improve the accessibility to our area. This also strengthens the “Corredor Economico del Norte” for the benefit of the Ports-to-Plains.
Beautifully decorated Ramada Inn Sun Blossom Room was the venue, which hosted the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce “Above & Beyond Awards” Luncheon on Friday May 21st, 2021.
Beginning with Former Mayor Dora Alcala’s warm welcome and DRHCC’s current President Isidro Valdez-Fernandez’s inspiring opening remarks, the event was filled with a mixture of appreciation, humility and recognition for those local heroes who went Above & Beyond during trying times when the Covid-19 Pandemic hit us in 2020.
The Del Rio News Herald staff was recognized for their journalistic support.
Present: Brian Argabright, Ruben Cantu and Karen Gleason.
Not Present Roland Cardenas, Atzimba Morales & David Rupkalvis.
CONEXION HISPANA: Mrs Araceli Gutierrez accepted a Posthumous Award to the late Mr. Gregorio Gutierrez CEO & Founder.
RAISE YOUR HAND TEXAS: Dr. Tomas Sigala’ Jr., Regional Advocacy Director
Ramada Inn: Rose Soto, General Manager
Val Verde County Judge, Lewis G. Owens
Not present but recognized Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano
Thanks to Ruben and Carmen Gutierrez for Plaque Sponsorship.
On May 10, 2021 Directors and members of the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had an opportunity to meet with Congressman Tony Gonzales. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the economic impact due to COVID-19 pandemic, and the current illegal immigration situation. The meeting was very productive as local community representatives through the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had the opportunity to advocate for our community.
Fernandez, President-Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Cristina Guerra-Valdez, Administrator- La Vida Serena Nursing & Rehab.; Congressman Tony Gonzales; Dora Alcala, Vice-President- Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Maria J. Martinez, President/CEO – Border Federal Credit Union.
Nearly 4 weeks ago, SFDRCISD worked with parents to encourage them to transition to online instruction in an attempt to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases the community experienced just over the holidays. “We want to thank the parents who supported the idea of temporarily changing their child’s mode of learning to online instruction earlier this month”, stated SFDRCISD superintendent, Dr. Carlos Rios. “This measure was necessary amidst the sharp rise in cases we experienced in our community just 4 weeks ago. Parents understood the need to make the temporary change to keep their families safe, and in doing so helped to significantly contain the spread of COVID-19 to other families at school.”
Dr. Rios further explained that the District is ready and prepared to welcome students back to in-person instruction if they have been temporarily attending school online. “SFDRCISD continues to remain constantly vigilant of the positivity rate in the community. In fact, in the past few days we have seen the percentages come down little by little and closer to the positivity rate we have seen right before the winter holidays. We are at a point where we can safely encourage our families to transition back to face-to-face learning.”
SFDRCISD encourages parents to reach out to their child’s campuses if they are ready to suspend their temporary selection of online learning and re-instate their child’s face-to-face instruction.
Why is the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Important to Texas AND the Nation?
The Ports-to-Plains Corridor is the only north-south transportation corridor that connects and integrates the nations’ and Texas’ most strategic economic engines of agriculture production, energy production and international trade and it supports growing population and economic centers of West and South Texas.
The Ports-to-Plains Corridor supports the largest agricultural production in the country. The Ports-to-Plains Corridor supports the production and export of agricultural products, generating approximately $11 billion a year in agricultural product sales.1
Statewide, the three top agricultural commodities are: cattle generating over $12.3 billion a year, cotton over $2.6 billion a year, and milk products generating over $2.1 billion a year.2 The production and export of quality agricultural products (crops, livestock, dairy, etc.) generates billions of dollars and relies directly on highway networks for transport of products to market.
Delays in the transport of livestock may create health and safety issues for the animals.
The Ports-to-Plains Corridor facilitates the transportation of supplies for development of energy products to refineries in the Texas Gulf and to border crossings and seaports for exports to global markets.
In April 2020, the Permian Basin accounted for over 39 percent of U.S. crude oil production, up from slightly over 18 percent in 2013.3 In 2019, the Permian Basin contributed $9 billion of the $13.4 billion (67 percent) in taxes in royalties to the state.4
The Eagle Ford Shale extends over 26 counties, five of these are within the Ports-to-Plains study area counties.
It stretches from the Mexican border between Laredo and Eagle Pass up through counties east of Temple and Waco. The share of U.S. oil produced in the Eagle Ford has also grown rapidly. In January 2010, the Eagle Ford Shale accounted for one percent of U.S. crude oil produced, but in April 2020, it accounted for 11.3 percent of the nation’s crude oil production.5 In 2016, the Eagle Ford Shale contributed $3.1 billion in state and local revenues.6
Wind is also a critical piece of the energy economy in South and West Texas. In 2019, Texas led the country in wind power additions representing a record amount of 3,938 megawatts.
Texas represents more than 25 percent of U.S. 105 gigawatts per the newly released Wind Powers America Annual Report 2019.7 The central section of the Corridor was responsible for 60 percent of all Texas alternative energy. Wind turbine equipment is large and requires specialized overweight/oversize transportation.
The Corridor is vital to the continued viability of these international trade gateways, especially with the recent passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Trucks carrying this freight rely on the Ports-to-Plains Corridor for direct access from the border to the north, northwest, and northeast. Currently, I-35 is the only interstate connection to and from Laredo, which does not efficiently serve trips headed northwest.
A word from the Director of Economic Development & Small Business
Serving the City of Del Rio collectively for the past five years as the economic development director has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with the public and the business community. Overall, despite the devastating impacts of COVID-19, I do feel that our business community is resilient, innovative, and tenacious enough to pivot and overcome this tumultuous time.
Many times, when someone hears the phrase “economic development,” they automatically think it is synonymous with business attraction or recruitment. However, most people do not know that 80% of job creation in a community comes solely from the expansion of small businesses that are already there. This is why taking care of and fostering our relationships with the many small businesses within our community is vital to our economic vitality. In order to improve these efforts, it was not enough to rely solely on CARES funding to help implement a small business grant program to help alleviate the financial stress over the past year or so.
The City has recently introduced a BRE (Business Retention & Expansion) survey that all business owners/managers can fill out to better inform the City’s economic development department on what we can do to improve our resources, help modify existing incentives for businesses, and promote trainings that will better prepare our workforce. The survey takes approximately ten minutes to answer and it allows business owners/managers to express their concerns with current resources within Del Rio, plans for possible expansion, and workforce needs. This survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/873FSK9 or you can contact me at email@example.com or at (830) 488-3023 for a direct link or hard copy of the survey if you prefer.
I tip my hat to all of our hardworking and resilient business owners in Del Rio, and I am always open to any feedback, discussions, or concerns that the City can help address.
TEA Releases New Guidance Regarding Online Instruction
During a recent meeting with Superintendents state-wide, the Texas Education Agency provided an update which would grant school districts the authority to evaluate the effectiveness of student performance and attendance for students who currently participate in online classes.
Using the guidance provided by TEA, school districts must study student grades and attendance participation during these past weeks to determine whether they will be required to transition to face-to-face instruction in the coming weeks. “As part of our goal to ensure an effective learning environment, explained SFDRCISD superintendent Dr. Carlos Rios, we have studied student grades and report card results district-wide. As a result, we have discovered that there is an overwhelming number of students failing online classes.” Under the authority granted by TEA, SFDRCISD will be forced to limit the number of students who can continue to participate in online classes. Effective November 16, 2020, (the beginning of the 3rd six-weeks), the District will implement the following measures:
1. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students who have accumulated 3 or more absences in a two-week period will be required to return to school for face-to-face learning.
2. Students in 1st – 5th grade with an overall average lower than a 70 (in the four core content area classes) at the end of any six weeks will be required to return to school for face-to-face learning.
3. Students in 1st – 5th grade who have accumulated 3 or more absences in a two-week period will also be required to return to school for face-to-face instruction, regardless of their grades; and
4. Students in 6th – 12th grade who are failing 3 or more classes will be required to return to school for face-to-face learning.
Students who meet any of the criteria listed above will receive a letter from the school. Students will be required to return to in-person learning two weeks from the date of this letter. Additional information regarding the TEA Commissioner’s Update will be presented during the regular school board meeting on Monday, November 16, 2020. The meeting, which begins at 6:00 p.m., can be viewed online on the school district’s website at www.sfdr-cisd.org, the SFDR You Tube Channel, Facebook, or the SFDRCISD public access channel on Spectrum Channel 1301.