How Hola America and I Have Matured

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Once in a while I meet people who say that the job I do with Hola América is interesting.  After revealing that my brother was the one that started the newspaper I really don’t know what people may think.  Maybe they think that simply because we are family I carry the title of editor, or maybe they think that it was easy for me to get to this point.  Regardless, I am here and what I am sure of is that the last 8 years of Hola América have been a lot of hard work, countless efforts, and sacrifice and the same can be said about the beginning of my career and studies.

The first couple of years of college I remember when I learned to use the computer program PhotoShop, which is used for editing and manipulating pictures, giving me a confidence within me that proved that I could be able to work for a big company behind a desk designing on a computer earning a descent salary.  I helped my brother Tarsicio with the first Edition of Hola América in 2000 without knowing how much work goes into creating ads for a publication and how many details are to be considered when creating a publication to be distributed.  I found out that there was a lot I had to learn and so I decide to continue with my studies working pretty hard jobs to help out at home. 

Then the television industry caught my attention, being that I grew up with English and Spanish programming and I knew I had an advantage that many others didn’t.   I wanted to be the next Jorge Ramos.  With that attitude and initiative the doors opened for me with a local station by way of a internship that ended up landing me a full time position, forcing me a take fewer classes which took me longer to graduate.  From then on I saw that I could do something significant at a local level, and I learned how a fairly sized company does business while serving and entertaining the community.   Then the opportunity arose to do the weather for an Univision station affiliate which would broadcast in Salt Lake City, Utah.  A great opportunity, but while training with professionals who have worked in the biggest Spanish-speaking cities of the world – and not having a single business suit – I decided not to pursue that opportunity and continue with my education, better my Spanish and invest in professional attire.  I was simply not ready.

At that time my brother continued struggling with a publication that only printed 8,000 copies but the high cost of printing and gasoline forced the distribution to be done wisely and efficiently and in doing so found its place in the communities where still serves.  He continued determined with his goal to make this business go forward while being criticized about the quality of the content, all this on top of having to make sales to make a living.  It was an immense task that gave the Hispanics of our area a better way to communicate with each other being that this underserved segment kept better informed about events and news that affect us, businesses were able to better reach our community and people were excited to see their pictures in the social pages.

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With the help of my father, my mother and my job I achieved the dream of buying a home and I planted roots here in this community.  I left my full time job at the TV station to attend the university in search of my bachelor’s degree where I learned to do news for television, radio and newspaper.  After classes I was selling cell phones which helped me assist Spanish-speaking people professionally and introduced me to earning income through commission.  Oh, and I also recorded videos for parties, working at the university’s station and doing a weekly radio show, being a dj at clubs, writing articles once in a while for Hola, being an announcer for soccer games through the local cable and even spent some time doing promotions.  Without knowing it, I prepared myself for the opportunity to assist my brother again to give this publication the touch it needed to give it a bigger audience and give it the refining it needed to grow.  I’m truly felt more productive for our Hispanic community by working with Hola instead of working for the local English media.

I was ready to leave my mark in the world of media at a local level.  Now 8 years later the publication has also graduated to something better and it’s ready to face the future with the same tenacity that my brother gave in 2000 and that I brought again in 2005.  This year we distributed 12,000 copies 2 times a month, we started our new weekly publication of The Clasificados de Hola América (The Classifieds of Hola América), we changed our web page and we started our e-blast newsletter.

That is how things have changed as we continue with our efforts, work, and sacrifice by celebrating our 8th year of service.  Even though we have improved the quality we are still the same people from the neighborhood, which shows that the more things change, the more they remain the same, being that I now I have to get ready to design another ad, just like that first edition of Hola America.

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