It all started Sunday May 11, 2008 when the “DEL RIO NEWS HERALD” staff writer Claudia Hill wrote an article called “10-year-old chess player to represent the U.S. in Argentina” that the Muñoz family began investment efforts among the local private businesses. Wearing the gold medal that she won for the United States at the North American Youth Championship 2007 in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which earned her the right to participate in the Pan-American Chess Championship; WCM Claudia Muñoz visited local businesses not seeking contributions but investments on her gold medal quest.

With a well-defined strategy, the Muñoz family established routes by which several businesses were to be visited in a 3-week span. Information kits were made in which a copy of the article that was written by Ms. Claudia Hill along with a letter of the United States Chess Federation confirming her participation to the international event as well as a brief history of her achievements in this sport in both the United States and Mexico. It was important for the 10-year old Claudia to affirm that she was not seeking “contributions” but rather “investments” in her future. During the 3-week period, she carried her chess set and chess clock in her backpack in order to offer her services to play any customer in any of the businesses that invested in her.

The first two businesses to invest in her was ASHLEY FURNITURE and HEB, who graciously heard Claudia as she explained why they should invest in her upcoming trip to Argentina.

A representative of ABRAJAN’s contacted me a few days ago to inquire on Claudia’s departure dates because the business was fervently conducting certain sales within its establishment. The following day, Claudia Muñoz, the mother visited the restaurant in order to ascertain the validity of the call when to her amazement she witnessed how the local business was working on behalf of our daughter. Little Claudia at the time was not able to personally thank the ownership because she was online playing an exhibition match with Chess Master David Quintana Rodriguez from Torreon, Coahuila; however during the match she was informed only to see tears of gratitude forming in her eyes. ABRAJAN’s heard about Claudia through a relative working at WALMART as she visited the national store chain.

Several businesses on the Mexican side as well as the Acuña city government have already pledged a financial amount being that Claudia lives in Acuña and has dual citizenship but chose to represent the United States in international events. However, it was in Acuña where she learned how to play chess and eventually affirmed herself as one of the leading players in Mexico before she began to compete in the United States where the results were identical to those obtained in Mexico. Claudia is a product of the cultural diversity stemming from both the United States and Mexico that flows through this borderland. When she arrives in Argentina, she will carry the hopes and aspirations from countless people that have invested in her future on both sides of the Rio Grande. As for 10-year-old Claudia, she dreams of making history; the little Texan girl that grew up in Coahuila might be bringing its first Pan-American medal to the borderland.

Report by A. Munoz

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