Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Miguel Guerra describes his background as a native of El Paso and how he established his practice, Total Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions, Incorporated. He was born in El Paso on May of 1969. While his mother died when he was three years old, he lived with his father who was a self-employed renter of six apartment units. His father’s business endeavors encouraged him to become his own boss; he was also weary of experiences working for managers at fast food places such as Jack in the Box, Weiner Schnitzel, and Baskin Robins. Working at Baskin Robins, however, allowed Mr. Guerra to meet his future employer, Michael Martinez, a patron who often conversed with him and owned his own medical practice. Guerra went on to work for Martinez under the condition that he would one day take over the company. Unfortunately, their deal was verbal and not written. Martinez’s untimely death left his practice deeded over to Martinez’s wife, which provoked Guerra to start his own practice. Mr. Guerra’s company provides orthopedic braces as well as prosthetics for amputees; He discusses the various obstacles of starting the practice, such as engaging in the long process of attaining funding, contracts, and constructing a building. He sees his business continually thriving due to increased demand despite the pressures of the 2004 economic recession. His wife, Susan Guerra, has also been essential to maintaining the business due to her expertise in handling paperwork for contracts. His customers are described as mostly the geriatric population as well as diabetics. His company has been recognized as a business of the year and is in the process of hiring another practitioner. He has been involved as a member of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and foresees a positive business environment for future entrepreneurs.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Length of Transcript
Interview with Miguel Guerra by Manuel Sanmiguel, 2009, "Interview no. 1517," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.