The University’s First Spanish Radio Show Launches

University Students Welcome Spanish Language, Culture and Music On-Air

The University’s Spanish Club hosts its very first Spanish show “Sonidos Latinos” on WMCX. The show airs Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm with the help of advisor and University Spanish professor, Betty Sanchez.

“Sonidos Latinos,” or “Latin Sounds” in English, began this past February and aims to help students gain confidence in speaking the language while inviting Spanish speakers to join the show. “There are students that are beginner speakers, and then there are students that are highly advanced. That is the true beauty of the show,” says Sanchez. “For me, language has to be a life.”

Sanchez, born in Venezuela, was actively involved with radio for many years prior to moving to America.

Sanchez hosted a daily show aimed at teaching the rural communities located in Peru, Columbia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Students would actively listen to her daily lessons and would attend class lessons on the weekends to clarify questions asked on the show.

In 1981, Sanchez moved to the states and continued to excel in the field of media. She earned a degree in TV/radio at Brooklyn College, and then was offered to create the first TV/radio class curriculum in Spanish by the Center for Media Arts.

Some students that attended these classes include John Carrasco, a radio announcer in Boston, and Josefina Baez, actress, writer, director, and founder of Ay Ombe Theatre Troupe.

Eventually, Sanchez moved to Mary Help of Christians Academy where she created the entire media curriculum. After bringing the first Communication award to the school, Sanchez became a professor at the University, where she wanted to create a radio show completely in Spanish.

“The confidence that the students on this show have really strikes me,” said Sanchez. “These are the students that will succeed in the future because they are not afraid to fail. That language belongs to them, and that will open many doors.”

“Sonidos Latinos” plays Latin music from varying artists such as Shakira and Daddy Yankee and covers topics ranging from sports and entertainment to struggles within the educational system. For future shows, the announcers plan on focusing one show a week to one specific Latin country, eventually covering artists and events from all over.

Aaron Furgason, communication professor and advisor of WMCX, said, “I think this show is extremely successful at catering to a very important and growing demographic.”

“I would really like to thank Chad Dell [Chair of the Department of Communication] and Aaron Furgason for this opportunity. They have been extremely supportive in helping the Latin community be heard,” said Sanchez. The show plans to continue in future semesters in hopes of helping students accept where they are in the language and improve from that point forward.