By MATHEW ZUÑIGA
Special to the NEWS
RIO HONDO – After 35 years of serving his community as a local educator, Carlos Garza Jr. – affectionately known as simply “G” – continues to serve Rio Hondo but in a different capacity.
Garza worked at Rio Hondo High School for 35 years as an Agriculture teacher specializing in metal; he recently retired as of January 2014. With over three decades of teaching experience, Garza has taught hundreds of students how to weld and create shop projects. According to Garza, throughout his career he has overseen and helped make over 3,000 barbecue pits and 45 large trailers.
His accolades include an impressive 12 consecutive years earning the Overall Chapter Award at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show in Mercedes.
After retiring from RHHS, Garza decided to take on a new challenge – the business world. Before retiring, Garza purchased a couple vacant buildings and an empty lot in the center of Rio Hondo off of Colorado Avenue. Once his retirement was official, Garza repaved the lot, worked on the plumbing and electrical as well as completely remodeling the buildings.
He has since leased out his refurbished land to open a feed store, a barber shop and liquor store – the latter of which named Broken Well. “I want Rio Hondo to grow, and it starts with adding new business to the city,” said Garza. “I knew someday I had to retire, but I also knew I have too much energy to not be doing something. So why not do something to help out the town?” added Garza when asked on the motivation behind his newest venture.
Garza has since created five new jobs for locals and plans to expand his business and continue to push Rio Hondo into a brighter, busier future.