There are at least two bilingual newspapers available in the City of Buffalo – “La Ultima Hora” and “Panorama Hispano News.”
There’s a Spanish-language Christian radio show on a local AM station.
And starting today, a Spanish-language public affairs television show will start airing Thursdays and Saturdays on cable access television.
“La Voz de WNY” was created by Maria Rivera, a Puerto Rican native who has lived in Buffalo the past 23 years. She’s a diversity program assistant at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and started the show as a way to bridge the gap between Hispanics and the Western New York community at large.
“I do everything I can to motivate, educate and inform the community,” Rivera said.
The television show, which first aired in April on Time Warner Channel 20, addresses topics like how to eat right, domestic violence, medical issues and the proper way to lose weight. “Anything I can grab in my hands I give to the community,” she said.
For the first three months, the show aired in the early afternoon Mondays and Tuesdays. At the time it was the only slot available, but Rivera had greater aspirations and was determined to reach a larger audience.
“People were at work at that time, and they were complaining they couldn’t watch” Rivera said.
When a new time slot became available, Rivera jumped on it.
The monthly show now is scheduled to run the first Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and repeat each Thursday at the same time and each Saturday from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
“It moved to a better time slot so people can enjoy it,” said Rivera, who graduated in May with a degree in business administration from Bryant & Stratton College.
Dr. Raul Vasquez, who runs his own Urban Family Practice on the Lower West side, is one of this month’s guests, along with MarCe Zerrate, executive director of Amor and Heritage Traditional Dance Company. Vasquez addresses health issues like hypertension, asthma and diabetes.
Niagara Council Member David Rivera – who is not related to the host – was the guest for the first show in April. He talked about issues in the community and the significance of various events like Hispanic Heritage Month and the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The growing Latino community in Buffalo could use a show like “La Voz,” Council Member Rivera said.
“It’s another medium to talk about things that are important to the Latino community,” he said during a telephone interview.
Maria Rivera now has her sights set on starting a live, local radio program with the same name and the same Spanish-language only format. The purpose is to try to reach people who miss the cable access program.
“I’ll be talking about the TV show, who came, what was the last show about and what the next one will be and ... any suggestions for the talk show,” she said.
For more information on “La Voz,” like it on Facebook.