MCALLEN, Texas – Supporters and staff have congratulated The Rio Grande Guardian on its 15th Anniversary.

The independent online international news service was launched in July 2005. Its founders, Melinda Barrera and Steve Taylor, were told at the time that it would not last because broadband access in Rio Grande Valley was minimal. Indeed, some cities at the time did not even have a website.

But, the publication is still going strong, with plans to broaden its reach and relevance even more in the coming months.

Blas Castañeda, a workforce development leader in Laredo, Texas, has been a big supporter of The Rio Grande Guardian from the beginning. Castañeda said:

The Rio Grande Guardian has been a huge addition to our South Texas/Valley information network with the latest pressing news that we all want to know about. It’s about our people, our communities and our national happenings. 

“I am pleased to say the publication has become a piece of our daily lives and I applaud the contributions of its dedicated staff. No matter what it might be, Steve Taylor and his team are always there to bring us the latest news, just like we were all there ourselves.

“Bravo Rio Grande Guardian for always keeping us all on the cutting edge, informed!”

Reporter Claudia Perez-Rivas remembers the early days of The Rio Grande Grande Guardian. She said:

“Looking back, I could have not asked for a better news writing experience than the one I had with The Rio Grande Guardian. I will never forget that first meeting I had with Steve and Melinda. It was at a Starbucks coffeeshop inside Barnes & Noble on Nolana. They seemed so excited to meet with me and I with them. I can’t recall where I saw their job posting but I remember sending them my resume and getting incredibly excited when I was called back for an interview. In that first meeting, I knew this was a special publication in that it wasn’t just a news organization but an online only news organization. This was unheard of in this part of Texas. Publications relied, and some still do, on print issues instead of exclusively online publications. The Rio Grande Guardian was innovative before online became popular.

“After that initial meeting, I was eager to get to work with such incredible people. Within the next few months, we covered a variety of stories all over the Rio Grande Valley. I learned so much from Steve in terms of writing, style, how to dig through the fluff to find the real story. I saw his interviewing techniques, watched his writing, and learned more about online publishing than I had up until that point in my career. Steve was always generous with his time. He always answered questions and was always available if I needed any help. He still is.

“I did not start with the Guardian when it was first launched but rather a few years after. My time exclusively working for the Guardian is something that I always value and treasure. The stories I had a chance to cover are priceless to me. We delved into Economic Development, Medicine, Politics, and investigative pieces. As the years have gone by, I have seen the evolution of The Rio Grande Guardian. I have seen its rise in popularity and its devotion to bringing the most up to date information related to the area. I still consider myself a part of the Guardian even though I have long moved out of the Rio Grande Valley and now reside in the Coastal Bend area. I’ve kept in touch with Steve through the years and occasionally write or translate some articles for the Guardian. 

“It has been a privilege to know I was there at the beginning (sort of) and am still a part of the Guardian for their 15-year anniversary. The Rio Grande Guardian is an exceptional publication with exceptional people at the helm. Steve Taylor is truly professional, incredibly humble, and the best publisher/editor I have ever worked with in my 10+ years in the journalism field. Congratulations, Steve and staff on a milestone. It can only get better from here on out.”

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