Immigrant Success: For Servando Orozco, the American Dream is real

This profile on Long Beach entrepreneur and community member Servando Orozco is the first in a series exploring the successes of immigrants in Long Beach. Immigrant Success is a collaborative podcast project between Long Beach Post and PalacioMagazine.com.

Servando Orozco is a longtime active member of the community. He owns three auto repair shops in the greater Long Beach area, serves as president of the board of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association and donates time and money to various charitable causes. He is also a motivational speaker, consultant and author of the part car manual, part memoir “Orozco’s Nuts and Bolts Guide to Understanding Your Car.”

Born in Michoacan, Mexico, Orozco hustled as a boy and worked odd jobs—whether selling snacks or cleaning windshields at a local gas station.

As a young man, he got the opportunity to travel throughout the Western U.S. in the late 1980s as a roadie for the popular Mexican band Los Muecas.

However, what was supposed to be a three-month stay ended up turning into a permanent life in America when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time—or rather, wearing the wrong colored shirt in the wrong neighborhood—one night in Compton.

“Thank God the shooter was a bad shooter because he only hit me once,” Orozco said jokingly.

Long Beach Post reporter Stephanie Rivera interviewed Servando Orozco at one of his Orozco Auto Repair shops on Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls.

Reporter Stephanie Rivera interviews Servando Orozco at one of his Orozco Auto Repair shops on Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls. Photo by Antonio Ruiz.

Show notes:
00:28 Servando Orozco talks about how he ended up in America, his entrepreneurial spirit as a young boy in Mexico, learning new skills and the mentors who helped shape him.

09:03 Orozco talks about life in Mexico as a kid, being frugal and independent, managing a business and the meaning of “tirar la vaca.”

19:05 Servando Orozco talks about customer service, management, balancing work and family, and being an immigrant in America.

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