Hispanic Community Loses Radio Stations
DJ Mario Vela takes calls on an early Friday morning at a small studio in Silver Spring, MD. Before Radio Capital was bought out by Red Zebra Broadcasting, the station was home to a weekly call-in show dealing with immigration issues.
Weekly guest America Calderon, Director of Citizenship and Civic Participation at CARECEN, answered callers' questions and informed area Hispanics of upcoming events, such as Congress's public forums addressing pending immigration legislation.
Red Zebra Broadcasting, home of the Washington Redskins, bought the stations intending to swap out the Spanish music and news programming with English sports coverage. Vela left the station because he wanted to continue serving the community at a Spanish-language media outlet.
Calderon teaches citizenship classes at CARECEN, a resource center for Central American immigrants in the DC area. She says radio and word of mouth are crucial information lifelines for Hispanic immigrants. She is reaching out to other Spanish stations in hopes that she'll soon be back on the air answering community questions.
Photos by Christina Tran