Everything dates back to the year 1998, when filled with dreams and hopes of providing a better life for our children, my family and I arrived in the United States, thinking that everything would be easier. My wife and I appeared happy, enjoying time with our children and having a peaceful job; but nothing could be further from the truth.
My first job involved installing cabinets in apartments, and despite earning only $30 for every 4 days of work, I still felt very happy. However, deep down, I knew that it wouldn’t be enough to achieve my goals of providing a home for my family and education for my children.
So, I kept pushing myself, going through many demanding jobs that eventually led me to Underwood Paint, a painting company where I worked on texturing new houses. It was through this experience that I began to see the path that would lead me to achieve what I wanted.
The work was so demanding that I ended up getting sick from exhaustion multiple times. This went on for 2 years until I moved on to another company that painted and remodeled apartments, where I worked until they closed down 4 years later.
After that, my wife and I decided that we couldn’t rely on someone else hiring us to fulfill our dream. So, we started our own company. Those were difficult years for us. We didn’t speak English, didn’t have machinery, and had no means of transportation. But we had a strong desire to work hard and succeed.
It was a great challenge in the beginning. I remember crying more than once while working, afraid of failing my family. But I kept pushing forward, refusing to give up. As the workload increased, people often asked about the owner of the company. In those moments, I would step into the spotlight, put on my formal clothes, and rush to the office, joyfully declaring, “I am the owner!” Similarly, when asked who did the painting, I would quickly change clothes to assume my role as a painter.
In the following three years filled with failures and experiences, I had to return to Underwood Paint for another two years. However, I made the decision that no matter what, I would continue with the company I had created for my family. It was then that I gave it the enduring name: “Refugio Painting & Remodeling.” I worked alongside my wife from Monday to Friday until the afternoon, and in the evenings, we dedicated ourselves to cleaning offices. We had another setback where I returned to Underwood Paint for a few months—a fall that left us weakened but not defenseless because from there, we rose with an unstoppable strength from the ashes, thanks to God’s blessing.
In 2006, the great momentum began that would carry “Refugio Painting & Remodeling” to this day. For almost 10 years, we have managed to keep the company stable, thanks to the support of my family and God. We continue filled with enthusiasm, doing the work of our lives with love as we fulfill our dream.