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Winter Texan of the Week: Thomas Araguz

Native Texan Finds Solace Through Friends, Helping Others at La Feria Resort

by Rocio Villalobos

When Thomas Araguz decided it was his time to retire, he felt called to the Rio Grande Valley. While he lived and worked only hours away in Wharton, 2020 proved to be a difficult year for him, with the loss of his mother and brother to COVID-19. Araguz said his faith got him through, but he was ready to change his environment and leave certain memories behind.

Over the years, he battled fires, drove cross country, and worked in maintenance and in oil fields. In July, he settled in at La Feria's Kenwood RV Resort, which proved to be just what he needed.

“Something told me to stop and just take it easy. So that’s what I'm here now getting to do--relax and take it easy,” he said. “I just get out of my chair, sit out, look at the trees, look at everything around and pray. I pray for everybody. We all need prayer. I'm a believer in prayer to change and help people.”

With a year-round population of just a couple of dozen people at the park, Araguz quickly made friends and came to enjoy the small-town environment of the community.

“For 10 years, I drove cross-country and met a lot of people,” he said. “I find that people here are very friendly, and now that the Winter Texans are starting to come down, I’m making even more friends. Since moving down here, I really enjoy it compared to up north, which, to me, was a little too fast paced.”

And though Araguz enjoys now having the time to relax, he’s the most content when he’s helping. Araguz involved himself in the Resort’s activities, often lending his skills. Whether it’s volunteering in the kitchen to help cook for parties or repairing things around the park, Araguz never hesitates to step up.

“I like to check in at the office to see if they need any help. I'm like a handyman. I work with electrical, lights…all that,” he said. “I just enjoy doing it because it keeps me moving around.”

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