Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Richard Castro was born in Del Rio, Texas to two hard working immigrant parents. Castro remembers his mother being a seamstress and working late into the night in order to make her quota. His father owned his own construction business and would give his son business advice of never putting limitations on yourself. Castro was also influenced by his brother who attended college. Even though Castro faced challenges in school, he attended and graduated from Texas State University. Castro became a teacher but did not make enough money, so he had to take on side jobs in order to make ends meet. Castro even became a Del Rio city manager, but left after serving two years to eventually create his own business, which was his ultimate goal. Castro created Richard Castro Real Estate Agency and Construction, which became successful in the mid 1980’s even though the country was facing economic hardship. Castro says he knew he wanted to be financially successful when he was a teenager and saw creating his own business as a way of doing this. Castro purchased his first McDonalds franchise in 1983, after being pushed by one of his former co-workers. His first restaurant was located in El Paso on Hawkins and I- 10. Castro developed his own business plan of work ethics and a positive attitude which he used at each McDonalds. Eventually, Castro owned a total of 33 restaurants, from El Paso to Big Spring, Texas; he owned the majority of the Permian Basin market. Now, he just focuses on the El Paso market. Castro also trained his employees through each position of management to work their way up to store owners. Castro is very involved in the El Paso community, he takes pride in being involved with youth education programs. He was able to launch the HACER scholarship program which helps out recent Hispanic high school graduates throughout Texas. This program was successful through the business partnership of McDonalds. Castro also discussed the importance of being involved in programs which help children of low income households. Castro also speaks about taking lessons from past employment experiences and doing a person’s best to “do what’s right” and draw from these experiences to gain knowledge. Castro offers advice to young hispanic entrepreneurs to have a business plan filled with strength, commitment, and hard work.
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Interview with Richard Castro by Homero Galicia, 2009, "Interview no. 1536," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.