From a Teacher to the Medical Field to Modeling
by Ashley Salas
It’s six in the morning and the sun hasn’t said hello to the world yet. It’s another cold awakening but our cover model Ingrid Raga is up and ready for today’s November shoot. In her sweats, knitted long sleeve and comfy boots, she’s out the door kissing her fiance goodbye. Raga straps on her seatbelt, turns on the engine and puts the gear in reverse. First stop? MAC cosmetics.
“I like the culture of Laredo. Just look at it,” she points toward the city. “The people, the growing local businesses, and the mexican heritage events, it’s home,” Raga says while taking an exit out of I-35 toward Mall del Norte. We enter the mall on a mission: be ready before one in the afternoon for a hair appointment. “It’s all about time management and trying not to go insane at the same time,” she chuckled. This coming from a woman who normally wakes up at six, gets her daughters ready and takes them both to two different schools. Apart from the distance, comes back home, gets ready for work at a prosthetic company, goes to work and adds a quick workout during her hour lunch break. She gets out at five, picks up her girls then takes them to dance and piano practice. Afterward, comes home to more mother duties. Raga starts helping them with their homework, cooks dinner and gets them ready for bed while her fiance comes home from work. Wow. Just wow. When people say a mother has superpowers, they aren’t kidding.
As she’s getting dolled up, I can’t help but notice her engagement ring on her dainty fingers. After about a minute, Raga begins her story of how the big question was asked. Turns out, what was suppose to be a proposal at a concert, ended up being a mariachi encore in a beautiful backyard surrounded by loving family members and friends. Sigh, a girl’s dream come true. With a two year relationship before taking the big step, Raga and her fiance will be spending this Thanksgiving in unity, with both of their families. As this holiday should be spent. “What are you grateful for?” I asked. “My two girls, my future husband, my family and our health. I’m truly blessed,” she said with a smile on her face.
After about an hour or so, we are now at the hair salon. Tease after tease, parting it one way and the other, up or down, this look is really coming together. Raga starts getting nervous. I remind her she has nothing to worry about. Without any experience prior to this, she already looks like a natural in front of the camera. I have a hunch she will strike every pose like pro. After all, there’s a reason why we chose her to be our cover model for this issue. Hair done, makeup did, and out the door we go. Next stop: the photo shoot. Let’s do this!
11 Questions with Ingrid Raga
TELL ME ONE THANKSGIVING STORY YOU REMEMBER AS A CHILD.
I remember being at my grandmother’s house in Nuevo Laredo, surrounded by family and playing with all my cousins. Those are the best memories.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH?
I never give up and I never take “no” for an answer. I’m always trying to better myself.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESS?
WHAT HAS BEEN AN ADVICE THAT SOMEONE HAS GIVEN YOU THAT HAS STUCK WITH YOU?
My mother always used to say, “todo el esfuerzo que haces tiene su recompensa.” Growing up and being a mother to my children, I hold value to that saying.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Definitely my parents, my sister and my fiance.
CHIVAS O AMERICA?
Chivas, all the way.
IF YOU COULD TRANSPORT YOURSELF ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
New York City.
YOU ARE STRANDED IN AN ISLAND AND ONLY HAVE THREE THINGS WITH YOU. WHAT ARE THOSE THREE THINGS?
Eyelashes, my fiance, and my cellphone.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Outgoing. Friendly. Giving. Happy. Humble.
DEAD OR ALIVE, FAMOUS OR NOT, WHO IS ONE PERSON YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEND THE DAY WITH?
WHAT IS A SECRET TALENT YOU HAVE?
I sew, not many people know that.