MAGIC VALLEY — Some of the quotes in this article were translated from Spanish to English by Stephanie Garibay.
La Voz radio station started up eight years ago with the initiative to bring more awareness on important issues to the Hispanic and Latino community. This year their focus has shifted to providing accurate COVID-19 information to the community.
"A lot of information in the community wasn't shared with most Latinos. So Adan Ramirez thought he would start a non-profit community radio, to where the community would be owners of the radio station," Damien David Rodriguez, Public Relations Manager of La Voz radio station, said.
But the process to get the station started wasn't easy. With hardly any funds, they had to figure out a way to raise $25,000 to purchase the equipment and license they needed to get started.
"We started to create events. We hosted parties to raise $25,000. We sold food. We did everything possible, even yard sales, and thankfully we were able to raise the $25,000. Another non-profit called ICAN put in more money, and that's how we were able to buy everything," Ruben Bautista, President of La Voz radio station, said.
The station, which is run by all volunteers, initially faced some challenges when it came to receiving support from the community.
"The first obstacle we faced is that our own (Latino) community was not going to believe in us, but we already knew that," Emilio Bayona, Secretary and host for La Voz radio station, said.
The station had to switch their focus to providing information about the pandemic. They faced some challenges there as well, with some Latinos not believing the information they give out.
"A lot of people don't like us talking about that because they say it makes people panic, but we have to get information out about what's going on," Bautista said.
But throughout all of this, they say they are proud to provide the Hispanic and Latino community with the information they need.
"Especially because we Latinos need a station to be informed about what's going on, that's really important," Bautista said.