We had the good fortune of connecting with Hortencia E Camargo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hortencia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’m no gambler but a strong believer in “bet big, win big”. Losing has never intimidated me; any loss in life, friendship, or business is a lesson learned. Time is too valuable to sit and dream of “what if”. I much rather roll the dice and play this game called life. I have been self-employed and an entrepreneur since the age of 17; I’ve never looked back. The safety net of a 9-5 job was not attractive enough for me to play it safe. I took risks, I lost, I fell, I hit rock bottom but I got up, and that’s what matters, and that’s what my four sons will remember when I’m gone. I was taught to turn over every rock and always get back on the horse. Risk was something my father taught me to not only expect but to welcome and love. The word risk in my house was equivalent to hope and chance. If there was even the slightest chance that my return on investment (either time. love or money) would grow; I’d jump right in! I have lived my entire life and will continue to do so holding on to that ideology.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My first children’s book (An Ox Named Oink and a Pig Named Moo) was just recently published. The story utilizes satire to convey to young readers the harsh reality of racism and prejudice that is still seen in today’s society. Readers will close the book both torn and complete as the story unravels how bravery, acceptance, and compassion can change the world amidst unbearable pain. The two main characters, Earl (the ox) and Mortimer (the pig), are the center of the story. Earl’s wiliness to accept the errors in his ways eventually leads others to see those who are different with love and respect. Mortimer’s faith in and forgiveness of others changed the world on the farm and the future. His bravery to hope for the best in those who see differently (Earl) brought out the very best in both. An Ox Named Oink and a Pig named Moo will open the reader’s mind to the endless possibilities of love and acceptance of all, especially to those who are different. This book helps the young reader face the challenging questions about inequality in our communities and homes and the baseless justification of those views. It allows very young readers to understand that being different is indeed a beautiful thing. The reader will grasp the understanding that what makes us different is what makes us exactly the same while understand judging others in any scope or form is wrong. The only real way to address systemic racism is to acknowledge that it is born and bred from home. Parents must accept their role for personal hatred of those who are different, implied or not. Society must advocate collectively to demand accountability from parents and do a better job educating caregivers and guardians to accept and understand their role in the current, past, and on-going hatred in the world today. The only way to end racism is to change the mindset of the young…that happens at home. Children are born absent hate; it’s taught to them. It’s my prayer this book plant a seed of hope, compassion, and forgiveness, and that those traits be shared and multiplied throughout the upcoming generations. Parents must understand that the root of racism starts at home and the end to it starts with them. This book sheds light on the fact that systematic racism ends when tangible action is taken to fight against it. Being mother is what truly inspired me to write this book. I was given the great blessing of having four sons and the task to make them well-mannered, good, kind, compassionate men willing and eager to lead others to what is right. I was born in deep south Texas, racism does not live here; however, the fear I have of it is carried with me always when I leave home. In a perfect world, my four sons will live their life absent that reality.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Rio Grande Valley is the last frontier and home to the most gracious, humble, and loving people. It is truly a melting pot of cultures, cuisine, and venues filled with character and class. A weekend in deep south Texas would include BBQ from Smokin’ Moon BBQ & Beer Garden, Lone Star BBQ, or Willie B’s after a long day of dove or hog hunting. A trip to The South Texas Equestrian Center would most definitely be on this list of to-dos to trail ride under the sunset on top of a noble steed under the deep blue Texas sky! There is no better place to stay and get ready for the night than Casa Del Palmas in Downtown McAllen. This historic full-service hotel was built in 1918 and still embodies the old spanish classic charm, comfort, and luxury you’d expect from a deep south Texas establishment. Once that top shelf margarita is done we’d take off to Santa Fe Cantina for a night under the stars enjoying live music, fine wines, and dancing! Once the morning breaks we’d head out to find the biggest Tex-Mex Breakfast under the sky! Brunch here is no joke, The Loretto Bistro, Roosevelts, La Estacion Bakery or Bonhomia are just a few of the most magnificent places to feast! Bloody Mary’s for breakfast is always a great drink choice under the glorious south texas morning sun. Now, it’s time to fish! That’s right, South Padre Island is only a skip away and consider our “prize bull” of things to do in the Rio Grande Valley. From fishing, dining, dancing, or just a walk on the beach; there is always something to do at SPI! No doubt we’d spend a few nights making memories there. What’s next? Texas Hold’em of course! We’ve covered Mission, South Padre Island, Mcallen, and Pharr…now to the great City of Edinburg! After a busy week of pleasure and too much fun, we would try our luck at The House Club Poker Room & Lounge in Edinburg, Texas. The House Club is the first poker club in the RGV to offer legal poker to its members. Poker enthusiasts will definitely feel right at home, surrounded by nothing by style, class, and grace! Let’s see those Aces! Winner takes all in cash games! Walking out after midnight, we’d head straight to the notorious TACO STANDS of the RGV! Don’t take my word for it, come down to The Rio Grande Valley and taste the late night flavor and life of deep south Texas!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Throughout my life, God has placed the most magnificent people in my path. I was placed in the arms of my parents, Ricardo and Olivia Espericueta, who raised me in a home with complete and total love. My father was and is a man of unwavering integrity, character, and virtue. His work ethic and faith in God only mirrors the most commanding mountain. I can not properly convey how his love and support have made me who I am today. My successes were his and when I was faced with pain, failure, and turmoil, he bore them with me. Now, my mother is hard to properly describe. I never knew exactly how she could love so sweetly while simultaneously being the toughest one in the house! She kept us in line and in order. I remember her saying, ‘Don’t tell me you love me, SHOW ME”. She commanded respect and accountability. Words were cheap, it was actions that moved her. I can not thank her enough for making me a strong, independent woman. She kept our family together, the house in order, dinner on the table, and always had her lipstick on point; oh, did I mentioned she was my father’s business partner. She ran their businesses and our household! She is an amazing woman and a mother like no other. My mother is a lady of few words but always lead me to the words of God for comfort. She always expected more from me. My parents have always been my biggest fans even when I have had nothing to celebrate. I am forever in debt to them for the life and love given to me. God then decided to pick a man that would lead my own family and home. Together we have raised 4 wonderful sons and have been married 23 years. My husband, Eli Camargo is a man like no other. He supports me in everything I do and is the backbone of my ambition. I would not be the mother or woman I am today without the support and love of that man. I can not thank him enough for being what all men should be to their wife and family; a leader, provider, protector and friend. Growing up certain teachers and mentors have always stayed close to my heart but very few truly made a deep impact on me; Mrs. W. Williford, Mrs. Filomena Leo, Mrs. Norma Carrera, and Mrs. Mary Alice Fuentes were educators that saw promise and potential in me when others saw little or nothing. When a growing child is looked at with eyes filled with hope and expectations it deeply imprints on them and stays with them throughout their lifetime. These educators planted a seed of hope within me and it grew! I hope they somehow know the great positive impact they have on children is massive and magnificent; it changed the course of my life. I am forever grateful.