Raul Castro was born, raised, and educated in Chiquinquira, Columbia. He began to study electronics at the age of 14. He continued high school with an emphasis in physics and mathematics under Dean Jose Vanegas at the National Lyceum in Chiquinquira. He then began college with a scholarship from the District University of Bogotö. He later transferred to the University of the Andes for his engineering studies.
Raul moved to the United States in 1957 and served in the Army. There he studied radar and taught the same to his fellow recruits. After being discharged from the Army he went to work as an electronic technician. He worked for companies such as IBM and Bendix, and at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He also received a citation for his work with the Apollo Program. Despite working Raul also continued his studies at Monmouth College in New Jersey. He later consulted for companies such as Digilog and Unisys.
Raul was a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Mathematical Association of America, and was involved in SETI until his death. Raul was also outstanding in chess.
Raul wished that his ashes be flown into space to realize a longtime dream.
His wife Nemesia and his three children, Rene Louis, Nora Elizabeth and Mary Frances, sisters Zorayda, Ada, Alba, and brother Gilberto and many other members of his family survive him.