Francisco Matias

Francisco Matias was born in Tecomán, Colima, Mexico and moved to Napa in 1990, when he was five years old. At that age, he was already developing an affinity for martial arts by watching Bruce Lee movies and other action films. After practicing…

Ernesto Martinez

Ernesto Martinez left his home in Mexico City for the Napa Valley at age 16. After spending a few nights sleeping on park benches, he found work as a dishwasher at Brava Terrace. By 2003, he was working as a sous chef at the Culinary Institute of…

Jose Guadalupe Maldonado & Hugo Maldonado

After first working as a migrant farmworker in 1962, Jose Guadalupe Maldonado made a permanent home for his family in the Napa Valley in 1980, where he and his son Hugo would later found Maldonado Family Vineyards in 2002. Hugo spent his early…

Pablo Chávez

Pablo Chávez was born in El Capricho near La Piedad, Michoacán, Mexico. After the second grade, he began to work in the fields, entering the United States in 1961 to work as a bracero. He later moved to Napa in 1966 and worked for a waste management…

Eduardo Balbuena

Eduardo Balbuena was born in Acapulco, Mexico and moved to New York in 1999 at the age of 20. He later moved to Napa to be near his father. Balbuena first worked odd jobs, then took a position in Napa in a warehouse which allowed him to learn about…

Bernardo Ayala

Bernardo Ayala came to Napa in 1988 from Indaparapeo, a small farming town in Michoacán, Mexico. Realizing how difficult life could be, Ayala jumped upon the opportunities available here and worked his way up from a disastrous but brief time as a…

Rafael Rios

For Rafael Rios, running businesses seems to be in the family’s genes. His older brother Manuel is the founder and owner of Rios Farming Company, LLC, his older sister, Ofelia and her husband Severiano, own and operate Severiano’s Kitchen, and one of…

Patricia Martinez

Patricia Martinez arrived in Napa in 1986, with her husband and young children. “We came to visit Disneyland and stayed here forever,” she jokes. Having studied business administration in her hometown of Mexico City, she decided she wanted to…

DeLuna & DeHaro Families

Pedro DeLuna and his oldest son Jesus DeLuna came to the United States from Colonia Modelo, Fresnillo, Zacatecas in Mexico as a part of the Bracero program in the 1940’s. They brought their families here in 1960’s, after which Pedro DeLuna, opened…

Estela Navarro Cortez

Estela Navarro Cortez was born in Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico and first came to the United States at the age of five. Later, in 2003, Navarro moved to Napa and opened Joey’s Bakery with her husband Salvador Cortez, who is also a baker, one year later.…

Imelda Contreras

Imelda Contreras had been running her own alterations business in Texas for 32 years before she opened Imelda’s Designer Alterations in Napa seven years ago. “I came (to the United States) for vacation in 1976 then I stayed because I got married,”…

Javier Garcia

Born in Valle de Santiago in Guanajuato, Mexico, Javier Garcia established Garcia’s Auto Service in 2002, with the help and support of his family. Garcia is passionate about his profession and he takes great pleasure in “being his own…

Emma Peña

Having gone back and forth between the U.S. and her hometown in Jalisco, Mexico, Emma Peña first arrived in the United States in 1976, opened El Vaquero Western Wear in 2003, and has now lived here for 40 years. Peña first encountered the…

Anita Alfaro

Before moving to Napa in 1970, Anita Alfaro grew up in San Antonio, a small rural town in Michoacán, Mexico. To make ends meet, her mother sold chicken eggs so she could buy a pig, then sold the pig so she could buy a sewing machine, in the meantime…

Joel Ramos

Joel Ramos came from Mexico in 1985, and has dedicated his career to providing the best services to anyone and everyone who’s ever been in an automobile accident. Ever since Joel came from Mexico and started learning about cars it became his dream to…

Alex Sotelo

Alex Sotelo was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico, and came to the United States in 1991, when he was 18 years old. The move from Mexico to the U.S. was a very stark transition for Sotelo. “The experience that I had adapting to this new and different…