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Dear Life Lovers I am PUMPED to be celebrating our 2nd Anniversary! WOW! The time flew by and our success is completely because of a team of volunteers, staff, contributors, and advertisers. We strive to put out a publication that paints the picture every month of the amazing and positive attributes of this community. We work hard, create with love and put out the best quality to represent Starr County with the respect it deserves. Some doubted the fact that Starr County had so many beautiful spectacles and events to offer our world, but I never had a doubt. I first witnessed this as a visitor and later embraced it as a resident of our gorgeous South Texas home. Starr County is special, so are its people, and customs. Starr County’s roots go deep, very deep! Besides providing nourishment, roots also provide a strength, and adhesion that forever binds this community to the land, the current of a river and our big blue skies. Starr bleeds red like everybody else, but I can testify to the fact that our shade of red is ever so slightly more rich and vibrant. Thank you to all of our advertisers who believe in our publication to help share your business, service and message. I am humbled by this belief and promise to continue working hard

to get our magazine in all the right places so that all of our community can learn more about you. I am grateful for your business which gives me the ability to promote Starr County and its amazing attributes. Thank you to THE LIFE Magazine TEAM! This publication is ONLY as good as each puzzle piece that make it whole and that’s each and every one of you! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for your commitment! Mark your calendar for

important upcoming events and dates that you don’t want to miss! First, December 7th is the RGC Greater Chamber of Commerce “Video Game Christmas” lighted evening parade. Line-up on Britton Avenue starts at 4p and the parade begins 6p sharp and goes down Main Street. Boys and Girls Club in partnership with the Shops at Lopez-Tijerina Complex are putting on a family affair called “Chocolate Christmas” full of activities and chocolate goodies

for the kids on December 13th starting at 630p. December 14th is Dr. B’s Winter Wonderland at 6p on the Fair Grounds. Every year she transforms our community to another world and it is for EVERYONE to enjoy for FREE! Then, on December 15th Dr. B is putting on her first annual “Candy Cane Christmas” play at the Paco Zarate Auditorium with showings at 3p and then another one at 7p. One more fabulous family fun event is the Rio Grande City Library’s annual “Free Photos with Santa” on December 20th at 5p. Calling all ARTISTS!!!!!!!!!! The RGC Greater Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for its 2nd annual Art Walk at La Borde House on January 3rd. We encourage all local artists to participate. Please call 956393-1692 or send your interest to to participate in the upcoming event. Artist of all genres are welcome; jewelry makers, photographers, pottery, painters, writers… if you create art you should share it with your community! We encourage and welcome you too! When you see us coming remember to smile BIG because capturing memories is what we love to do best! Working towards a United Community. -Giselle Villarreal

CREW President / Editor in Chief

Vice President

Creative Director

Cover Photographer

Account Executive

Events Photographer

Giselle Villarreal

Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal

Roy Bazan

Roel Reyes

Ruby Perez

Aracely Vasquez

Health & Fitness Editor

Fashion Editor

Sales Associate


Administrative Assistant

Renea Perez

Yirla Nolan

Kassandra Ramos

Modesto Ramirez

Jason Solis

THE LIFE Magazine is published in Rio Grande City, TX. THE LIFE Magazine and its employees do not assume liability for products or services offered herein. Permission to use or reproduce material herein must be with express written consent of the publisher. 2012 THE LIFE Magazine is Printed in the U.S.

601 Main Street Rio Grande City, TX 78582 956.393.1692 6,000 issues monthly and 500+ distribution points Starr County, Zapata County Winter Texan parks across the valley and growing.


The Holiday Fitness Trap

By: Renea Perez

After the holidays, we usually tend to fall into our old habits, often because we feel like we already ruined our body or the progress we were making. Let’s STOP this pattern and find some motivation! If you have a plan in place or someone to push you, you can get out of the "after holiday slump". Don’t focus on all of the things you ate, or all of the activities you didn’t do, focus on what you will do with your NEW day. Motivation is the driving force behind our bad habits, so tap into yours and use it to

form new, good habits. By identifying what you want and how you'll get it, you can shape new behaviors that, with a little practice, will become as routine as your bad habits ever were. Begin talking to yourself like your own best friend rather than your worst enemy. Change your self-talk from discouraging to encouraging. If you fall off the diet wagon and double up on dessert, don't beat yourself up and consider the day a waste. Instead, tell yourself that mistakes are just a part of change. Tell yourself you are not going to make matters worse by overdoing it for the rest of the day.

An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded

- Pope John Paul II

Let’s start early with the resolutions this year. Make a list today! Start making it a reality by picking yourself up and vowing to make lifelong changes! Get your head around the fact that you will slip up at times and the true success is getting back up. There are several ways to find motivation! Grab your partner or friend and sign up for a 5k, an obstacle course run like the “Tough Mudder” or sign up to train for a fitness competition. Pay in advance for training sessions so you will feel committed to going. Make a commitment to exercise every single day in one way

or another and to EAT right. Instead of stopping at the same place every day for a taco, start shopping for a cleaner way to make them at home; whole grain tortillas with egg whites, cilantro, black beans, tomato, onions, jalapenos, and fat free shredded cheese! Now, that is a delicious and nutritious taco, and amazing fuel for your body. Get motivated by making a motivation board so you can see every day the goals you have and want to reach. Do not let the holiday blues stop you from pressing forward toward your health and fitness goals. Don’t quit! You can do this!


Rio Grande City’s Tunnel of LOVE “To truly understand the reason why the tunnels were built you have to understand the real history of the La Borde”

By: Modesto Ramirez Jr

When it comes to Rio Grande City’s  History most people think of the Old Fort, the Grotto, among other places as well, but most people have forgotten about the tunnels. That’s right I said tunnels—underground tunnels that run right under Main Street.  The location of the main tunnel is across the current historic La Borde Hotel; the original entrance sits across the street at what is now a popular billiards hangout.  Many theories have come about as to why the tunnel was originally built. Some people believe the tunnel was built for the purpose of contraband smuggling in the 1920’s, as popular and as interesting as that may be you have to remember one thing, there would have not been a real need to hide the contraband for the simple reason that there was no real form of border patrol or customs enforcement. However there is no doubt in my mind that

-The LaBorde House was designed in Paris in 1893 by French architects and the plans were refined by San Antonio architects at the building site in 1898. Construction was completed in 1899.

the tunnels were used to hide alcohol. According to many local historians the real reason behind the construction of the tunnel, was in my opinion far more interesting than contraband smuggling. To truly understand the reason why the tunnels were built you have to understand the real history of the La Borde. The La Borde hotel

didn’t always have the reputation that it has now. 100 years ago, the Le Borde hotel was a house of ill repute, not necessarily a brothel but close to it. For a Rio Grande City man looking for a good time he knew the one place in town that would offer it. However, a man of respect certainly did not want to be seen coming out of the Le Borde hotel. So a tunnel was

built to provide the patrons of the La Borde a quick and easy escape route. Over the years the tunnels were used for a variety of different reasons but eventually the need for the tunnels ended and soon after they were blocked off and were forgotten.  Sadly time was not kind to the tunnels over the course of the century much of the tunnel caved in and what was once a reminder of the underground history is now a pile of rubble.  Join me in next month’s column where I will dig into the history of the Mexican Revolution and the effects it had on Starr County. Follow me on Facebook and email any questions or story ideas to


Love & Humility- The Stuff of Miracles By: Roy Chubasco

the Grinch, Rudolph the Red Nosed

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in 1828. His

baby Jesus with gifts of love. Because

Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and my

intense interest in the red flower caused

the children were poor, they had nothing

Uncle Gilbert who dresses like Santa

him to send some special specimens

to offer the baby Jesus. Seeing his big

Clause and sings Freddy Fender songs

to his greenhouses in South Carolina. I

sister unhappy, little Pablito thought that

(he claims he sounds better singing

suppose it was a good thing that he didn’t

they could collect weeds from alongside

“Wasted Days” as compared to “Deck the

fall in love with the cactus otherwise he

the road. Not having much of a choice,

Halls”). At this point both you and I know

would need a whole heap of band aids.

Maria gathered weeds and formed them

that when it comes to Christmas stuff,

Although, early on they were called

into a bouquet. When they walked into

we are just scratching the surface of a

“pointed leaf” and “Mexican Fire Plant”,

the manger to deliver the gift they were

topic bigger than George Strait’s Farewell

the poinsettia in 1836 took the name of its

received with laughter and criticism.

Tour. With so much to possibly write

biggest cheerleader Joel Poinsett.

None the less the two walked up to the

about, what will stir O’l Roy’s thinking hat this month?

Now as for as how this red, velvet

baby Jesus and with all the love in their

flower and Christmas were married into

hearts laid their bouquet of weeds down

My story actually hit me on my leg

holy matrimony… well, that is the stuff

alongside him. Suddenly, the weeds

as I entered Wal-Mart a few days ago.

of legend. Here we go again with the

transformed into the most beautiful red

This dude was leaving the store going

roots of the tale deeply entrenched in

flowers making it clear that love and

Well what do ya’ know… the holiday

out thru the “enter” doorway which made

Mexico. The main characters involved

humility can make miracles happen.

season is upon us. It seems that after

me lean back just enough to tip over a

seem to change a bit depending on the

Of course, these red flowers were

October the months slide by like a marble

fire engine red potted plant. As I picked

version of the story as it is told. It is sorta’

poinsettias and the legend lives on like

on linoleum. The action of back-to-school

it up, I saw that it was a poinsettia and

like the popular sitcom “Two and a Half

the twinkle of a million stars.

September to stuffed turkeys (yup I am

remembered some story about this

Men” which features Charlie Sheen or

I don’t know about you, but I think

talking about us) November to Santa in

flower and Christmas. It was clear that

is it Ashton Kutcher? The two versions

that story makes a Disney Movie seem

December is enough to make your head

O’l Roy had to brush-up on his poinsettia

of this chronicle which join Christmas

like a commercial for laundry detergent. I

spin like Lance Armstrong’s 10 speed

pedigree. So, here we go children, jump

and the poinsettia involve either a

know that this tale has been told in many

bike (of course his 10 speed bike days

onto the sleigh of discovery as we learn

sister Maria and a little brother Pablo

ways but the essence of this adventure is

were long ago before all the hoopla). Yet,

a thing or two about the fascinating

or cousins Pepita and Pedro. These

as heart-warming and gratifying as a hug

here we are in perhaps the most sacred


two, Maria and Pablo (I’m going with

from your mother. When you think about

and sensational holiday of the year. If you

Poinsettia plants are native to an

the sister/little brother version because

it, few things in this world are closer to

have not already guessed, I am talking

area of southern Mexico known as “Taxco

little brothers are annoyingly fun) found

God than love, innocence and the purity

about Christmas. Few events conjure the

del Alarcon”. They were used by the

themselves walking a long dusty road on

of a soul that glows like the deep red hues

array of memories, family, gatherings,

Aztecs as dyes for clothing, cosmetics

a Christmas Eve. Their destination was

of the humble yet magnificent poinsettia.

department store sales and TV specials.

and medicine. The poinsettia became

the church in town which was displaying

Merry Christmas to y’all and May

The Christmas season also brings out

prominent in the United States due to the

a nativity scene. It had become custom

God Bless you always!…That’s the way

a host of once a year characters like

efforts of Joel Poinsett who was the first

among the town’s people to shower the

I see it under these Starry skies.

Psychology Club GEEKS the Library


Oxblood the season’s color

By: Yirla Rubi Gonzalez Nolan

sheer grape color will look great with minimal makeup that will focus only on your This season’s color trend kissers. Head to your nearest might have a scary name but Oxblood is nothing but “The richness of an appealing hue that is this dark reddish color everywhere you turn. The gives some excitement richness of this dark reddish to our wardrobe with color gives some excitement a hint of sexiness and to our wardrobe with a hint of sophistication” sexiness and sophistication. I’ve narrowed it down to five Sephora to pick one up. items that will have a major Target Envelope Clutchimpact on your outfit. This gorgeous burgundy N A R S L i p s t i c k i n envelope clutch adds major Vendanges- A great subtle points to an outfit. It features way to showcase this a microsuedette exterior season’s hue is by wearing with beautiful metal-look it on your lips. NARS is well edging on the clasp and two known for its pure creamy compartments to organize lipstick formulas that lend what you carry. Head to a a bold color to lips. This Target near you for this $10

piece. The sophistication of this clutch allows for more oxblood in your outfit. Use this color freely! Burgundy Lace Cami Maxi- A sure way to show the fashionista in you! has reduced the price of this maxi to a low $26. This maxi has lace insert details at the side which give a vintage feel while the slits on the side give it a flirty flair that will turn heads. Pair it up with gold chunky jewelry and you are ready for a night out in town. Almond Toe WedgesForever21 has a pair of faux suede wedges for only $24.80. With a wedge support and a heel height of 3”, you will be able to wear

this from sunrise to sunset. If you don’t believe me head to the forever21 website and see their “Top Rated” badge that will sure convince you to purchase. Try them with a light colored outfit like tans or lavenders so you make your shoes pop. Skinny Jeans-Head on over to and look for the oxblood pair for a great way to throw them on for a casual stroll or a night out. I’m sure you have seen a lot of candy colored jeans around town, but these oxblood colored ones give any outfit a demure attitude perfect for winter. The $35.90 price tag will be well worth it after you wear these over and over again.

Your POW Sister and Fashionista, Editor & Stylist For tough fashion questions contact me at

Criminal Justice Association Car Wash



Ringgold Elementary’s Career on Wheels

What If…? By: Olga M. Perez Book Signing




RGC Greater Chamber Parade Marshall’s Dinner Honoring: Norma Gomez Fultz


The Life Magazine  

December 2012