Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Brownsville port of entry celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month with professional baseball player Alejandro Martinez and award-winning insurance executive Carlos Varela serving as the keynote speakers.
Alejandro Martinez, a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was recruited by the Oakland Athletics professional baseball team at the young age of 17. Martinez played first base and outfield as he continued his professional baseball career to the Milwaukee Brewers. He also played for the national Dominican team and the Rio Grande Valley White Wings where he excelled as best batter and golden gloves recipient. Alejandro Martinez now lives in Harlingen, Texas with his wife and is head baseball coach at the Marine Military Academy.
Carlos Varela is a co-owner of Pronto Insurance, a Brownsville-based company. Pronto Insurance was selected by the World Franchising Network as one of the "Top 26 Franchises for Hispanics for 2010." In 1997, Pronto Insurance founded its first agency in Harlingen, Texas. In 2005, the company became a Managing General Agency (MGA), and began its statewide expansion plans. The company has experienced unprecedented growth with company-owned and franchise opportunities in South Texas, Laredo, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas
The National Hispanic Heritage Month this year is from September 15 through October 15, 2011. This year's theme is "Keeping the Promise, Unity, Strength, and Leadership." President Barack Obama has called upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
Brownsville Port of Entry Port Director Michael Freeman along with invited guests enjoyed accordion music played by local CBP officers.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.