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Hugo Garicia

Episode 147

Family giving Strength to Change

Hugo Garicia was born in LA and grew up in the city of El Monte where he attended school from Cogswell Elementary, Kranz Middle School, El Monte Highschool, and later graduated from East LA College.

While in high school and into college Hugo held a variety of different jobs all around the SGV – El Monte, West Covina, Rosemead, City of Industry, Monterey Park, Pasadena. He began his career in fitness in 2010 working for a big box gym in the personal training department in the city of Monterey Park and has now been a self-employed Fitness Trainer since 2013 in the city of Pasadena.

Hugo runs a successful business and is now expanding into the online space with help of a business mentor. Not only is he now offering online training to a host of different clients, but also a mentorship program to both up and coming fitness trainers and/or trainers currently in the field who are struggling to succeed.

On top of juggling his business, Hugo has a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter that count on him to protect and provide.

One to two weekends per month Hugo is a Volunteer Firefighter. He volunteers as a Firefighter for a sense of higher fulfillment knowing that he is providing a service without expecting anything in return. He does this to pay gratitude for the wonderful family and life he has been blessed with.

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Hugo Garicia Takeaways

  • Hugo Garcia was born and raised in the SGV
  • Hugo earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from East LA College
  • During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hugo became a firefighter
  • Hugo loves fitness and personal training
  • Hugo has a loving wife and daughter
  • Hugo Garcia plans to eventually buy a plot of land and try to life in a self-sustaining fashion

“I was exposed to a lot of danger that I didn’t realize, especially at that age. I did grow up with friends who were not from the best parts of town and didn’t have the best intentions. I never realized that, but I feel because of my parents, their values, their morals that were instilled in me allowed me to always make the proper decisions growing up.”

“My dad is from Guatemala and my mom is from Mexico. We come from big families and always having a low source of income. What helped families get ahead was having their kids start to work as soon as possible to help with utility bills or what have you. So I think that was also instilled in me by my parents because my first job was actually when I was 14 and a half”

“But in 2020, when I couldn’t work, when I couldn’t see clients, my wife was pregnant, and we were moving at the same time from Pasadena to Chino Hills. There were a lot of things that were happening in our life. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t see clients.”

“I felt like I carried myself differently as well when I knew that whenever I was dealing with a client, whenever I was performing a session, whenever I was having a conversation with a client, I knew that everything I was doing was for the future of my daughter.”

What is Hugo Garcia’s connection to the San Gabriel Valley?

Hugo feels as though he has a connection to every aspect of the SGV. When Hugo was just 6 years old, he moved to El Monte. He went to El Monte High School and held multiple jobs in the area, such as the West Covina Mall and the Rosemead In N Out.


Where did Hugo go to college?

Hugo attended ELAC, East LA College, and earned his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice


Where was Hugo’s family from before they moved to the SGV?

Hugo Garcia’s parents were living with his grandmother and a few of his uncles. Hugo comes from a huge family with five brothers and five sisters. 


What was it like growing up in El Monte?

Hugo felt that he was exposed to a lot of danger that he didn’t really realize at the time. There were a lot of friends who were not from the best parts of town who didn’t always have the best intentions. However, Hugo’s parents instilled exceptional values and morals in him, which kept him on the straight and narrow.


Were there a lot of gangs and drugs where Hugo Garcia grew up?

Yes, unfortunately. His elementary school was exposed to the projects. Even during recess time there would be people approaching the school that shouldn’t have been around. When it comes to the nature as to why these folks were hanging around schools, Huge assumes it was to adopt these children into their gang lifestyle. 


Did Hugo feel removed from these lifestyles or gang temptations?

Huge certainly was not removed from negative impacts. For instance, one of Hugo’s closest friends ended up in gangs and others found themselves in jail. Due to his closeness to these friends, Hugo realizes how easily he could have slipped into that sort of lifestyle were it not for his parents.


What were Hugo Garcia’s parents like?

They were excellent parents. They were very loving, have been together for 37 years, and grew up Catholic. Just about every Sunday they went to church. Hugo has a brother that is three years younger than him and a sister who is eight years younger.


Did Hugo Garcia play any sports?

Hugo was involved in Karate for about three years. He also played basketball, and football, and ran cross country and track and field. 


Was Hugo unsure of where he wanted to go with his career?

In Hugo’s experience, within the Hispanic culture, it is more common for work to be pushed rather than education. And sooner than later. For instance, Hugo started working at 14 years old to help his parents. They were relatively low-income, so any additional money to help with bills was a major benefit.


What did Hugo Garcia want to do in college?

Before attending ELAC, Hugo had a passion for graphic design. He was enrolled into a Graphic Arts Academy. However, he ended up losing interest in graphic design. This led him to attending ELAC for nursing. The reason he chose nursing is because his best friend’s older brother had become an RN and Hugo noticed he always had some type of exciting new toy, like a car or bike. Unfortunately, he discovered he did not have a passion for nursing, either. 

Hugo Garcia

Where does Hugo’s journey go from here?

While attending ELAC for criminal justice, he discovered that Monterey Park was opening up a 24 hour fitness. He ended up applying to work there, he realized it was a fantastic fit. Working with clients was an amazing part of Hugo’s life until the COVID-19 pandemic. Not being able to work consistently while his wife was pregnant was a major burden on the family. 


So what did Hugo do?

Hugo decided to go through the certification process to become a firefighter. He enrolled in an EMT class and did his physical assessment test. During this time, and even after as he continued personal training, Hugo realized he had an unlimited amount of discipline and drive because everything he was doing was in the best interest of his daughter and her future.


What kind of parent did Hugo want to be?

Hugo truly diagnosed what it meant, to him, to be a role model, a father figure, and a proper masculine presence in his household. He was constantly absorbing information and trying his very best to provide for his daugther and lead his family. 


What is a normal day for Hugo?

Hugo wakes up around 3 AM. He leaves his house and works about 30 miles away from his home. He works out and does some journaling, essentially giving himself 10 minutes or so for reflection and gratitude. This is a typical wake-up time and the beginning of Hugo’s day. He begins his own personal workout around 4 am before everyone starts arriving at the gym around 5 am. Hugo’s first client will arrive at 6 am, and he works until 5 pm. He plays with his daughter until she goes to bed around 8:30 pm, and then Hugo is typically in bed by 9:30 pm. 


What does Hugo plan to do in the future?

Hugo plans on expanding into an online space so that he can help even more people. It will also provide more freedom for him to spend time with his wife and daughter. Eventually, they want to buy some land out of state where they can build a house and have some level of self-sustainability. This includes collecting rain-water, having chickens and some cattle, and instil proper morals in his daughter.


Music Credits

Like it Loud, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Scarlet Fire (Sting), Otis McDonald, YouTube Audio Library

Indecision, Dyalla, YouTube Audio Library

Picture of Hugo Garicia

Hugo Garicia

El Monte High School

The streets of Elliott, Peck, and Tyler in El Monte.