Raymond Salazar was born and raised in Southside of San Antonio TX and was brought up in a strong Hispanic household and has embraced the Hispanic culture as his parents owned and operated a Mexican restaurant in the Southside of San Antonio, off Hutchins and Zarzamora, throughout his early childhood years. Throughout middle and high school years, Ray always felt the need to be involved within the community by playing sports, volunteering with school functions, and by participating in the Cultural Arts Parades yearly. Until this day, Ray still volunteers his time to the Cultural Arts Parade due to the fact that now all his nieces and nephews attend schools within the Harlandale District. After graduating from McCollum High School in 2002, his dreams were focused on obtaining a business degree while attending local community college at Palo Alto College, but suddenly Ray became sick and found out that he had gastric cancer. “I didn’t know what to think or how to feel but I did know I had a purpose in life and that’s when I realized I needed to do more for my community since I was limited to working due to my personal health issues.”

Ray became involved yearly with the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner as well as The Wreaths Across America. He also started a Fiesta Medal Page called the “Fiesta Medal Freaks” on Social Media which has reached over 1800 followers within a year’s time. Fiesta Medal Freaks gave Ray the opportunity to meet many dedicated Fiesta go-getters, who not only celebrate in April but keep the Fiesta spirit alive throughout the year as it becomes part of our everyday culture living in Good Ole San Antonio! And unlike any other fiesta group, Fiesta Medal Freaks offers free advertisement to any local businesses, from your next door neighborhood mom and pop shop to any upcoming community events that can bring the city together free of cost. 

On April 4th, 2018 Ray hosted his first Fiesta Medal event at the Courtyard Marriott by SeaWorld where he organized a Mariachi band, 35+ Fiesta Medal Vendors and the appearance of “Piñatas in the Barrio Royalty.” Over 350+ people attended which led to the social media page, “The Great 2019 FiestaMedal Scavenger Hunt!” This group is open to the Public and encourages anyone and everyone of all ages to have fun, go back to our childhood spirits, and participate in this fun-filled Fiesta Medal Scavenger Hunt throughout San Antonio. “Believe me, it’s been a successful accomplishment to see all ages of our community coming together daily, participating and taking time out of their busy lives to take the opportunity in hiding a fiesta medal and posting clues throughout the day while others are immediately posting follow-up pictures of their new Fiesta medal finds.

By running the Fiesta Medal Freaks page, Ray has expanded his volunteer work by hosting a Candy Drive in October for children living at Haven for Hope. He collected and donated over 250 trick-or-treat bags.  In December, Ray hosted his 1st toy drive allowing him to collect and donate over 500 toys to children living at St. PJ’s Children’s Shelter. All these donations came from the community, and Ray hopes he can continue and expand this tradition yearly. “Not only is my focus on the children of the community, but for the adults as well!” 

“Not only is this page bringing our community together, but it’s also a reminder to us that we’re never too old or too young to not have fun and enjoy the simple things in life that bring someone a smile at no cost, just by giving up some of your daily time” -Ray.

Ray is excited for the opportunity to become the 2020 River Walk King, but regardless of the outcome, he pledges to do what he can to make people smile and enjoy life to the fullest!

“Thank you, Viva Fiesta!”- Raymond Salazar 

Fiesta Medal Freaks 





Photo Credit: Galindo and Son Photography 

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