Hidden History: How Spanish-Language Media Impacts Hispanic Community

Hispanic Heritage Month

You probably listen to the radio every day, in your car or home, but for members of the Latino community in northeast Wisconsin, there was not a Spanish-language option until five years ago.

Weekdays at 2 pm, the soundboards light up, the intro plays. It’s time for Gaby Gamboa to talk, reaching into homes around northeast Wisconsin.

“To be able to be part of their families, also, because sometimes they say, ‘Hey Gaby we’re cooking right, put on that good song, we’re going to dance.'”

La Mas Grande has been broadcasting in Spanish since 2013, making it the Green Bay area’s first local Spanish-language radio station, and with a growing community, it has become a vital tool.

“Of course the Latino community have different choice to listen to internet, different radio stations, but it’s better for us having the radio station, a Latino radio station, to communicate whatever issues are happening.”

Sending word of local news, issues, and events over radio waves.

“We have a good connection with different organizations, also with the police department in Green Bay, and we welcome any department who would like to let the community know something.”

An immigrant herself, Gaby knows firsthand the importance of communication.

“You don’t know how to talk, you don’t know to speak, you don’t know how to write down, you can do nothing here. You’re nothing here. Your degree is nothing here, so, I get frustrated because the only choice that I had at that moment, it was to work in a factory.”

Gaby took English classes and learned what she needed to be successful in the U.S.

“My limitation was the way to talk, to communicate with the rest of the people who live here, and I needed to work hard, that’s it, but it wasn’t impossible.”

It’s fitting that she now works to improve communication within the Latino community, but it’s not just about talking.

“It’s a lot of people who refuse to listen to American music because they don’t understand. It’s hard for them.”

Combined with a personality that has gained popularity and familiarity with her audience–

“People say, ‘it’s just your voice, it’s just listening to you, it makes me happy,’ and I’m like, well, that’s good, it feels awesome that you can make someone happy.”

–those elements, creating an on-air experience the Latino community has grown to rely on.

“They trust you because the community can be growing and growing, but if you are not doing a good job, they’re not going to trust you.”

Trust that, over the past few years, have allowed La Mas Grande to grow along with the community.

“We’re a good tool. We are a good tool to connect people with the community and before that, five years, six years ago, the people was just kind of quiet and thinking ‘What to do, where I go? Who I need to call or where I need to go?’ And now it’s easier for them.”

Making life easier and more entertaining for northeast Wisconsin’s Latino community.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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