My First Ever Live Radio Interview: In Spanish
– No Less!
When you run a travel website, working with the media is a must.
There are so many news to get out there, and it’s part of
letting the world know about Travel and Transitions. During the
past 18 months I have moved from being an entrepreneur in the language
service business to becoming an online publisher and travel writer
and this was quite the transition indeed. Many new skills had to
be and continue to have to be learned: writing, photography, basic
web design, internet marketing, contest administration, publicity
Two days ago I was invited to come in for my first live radio interview.
I had actually already been interviewed earlier this year by CBC
Radio about the topic of immigrant settlement issues and volunteer
work placements for New Canadians, but that interview was pre-recorded
and edited. This time I was to be interviewed by Voces Latinas,
CHHA 1610 am, Toronto’s Hispanic radio station. The difference
was that this interview was going to go out live on air, and to
make it even more suspenseful, the entire interview was going to
be in Spanish.
Voces Latinas is actually run out of the San Lorenzo Community
Centre near Lawrence and Dufferin Streets and is the brainchild
of Father Hernan Astudillo, an immigrant from Ecuador. He approached
the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) in 1998 about
the possibility of creating a radio station for Toronto’s
Spanish-speaking community. With the help of several experts in
the broadcasting industry, on April 17, 2003, the San Lorenzo Latin
American Community Centre was finally granted a radio broadcasting
license and Father Astudillo together with a group of volunteers
built the studio and the broadcasting tower.
Today, Voces Latinas is run 95% by volunteers and focuses on local
and global issues affecting the Spanish-speaking community. As a
lover of the Spanish language, I myself listen to it a lot and it’s
a great learning opportunity to expand my language knowledge and
to get exposed to different issues affecting Toronto’s Latin
community. Actually, the main programming at Voces Latinas is offered
in four languages: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Tagalog, while
a minor component of the programs is in English and French.
Programs feature news analysis of current events
in Latin America, local upcoming events, forums
for community groups, sports discussions as well
as interviews and discussions on a variety of social
issues, such as education, women’s issues,
drug and substance abuse, immigration, housing,
citizen involvement, multiculturalism and many more.
The program that I was on is called “Back
to School” which focuses on inspiring its
listeners through interviews to continuously upgrade
their skills and keep expanding their knowledge.
The hosts of the program, Elina and Gina, two young
dynamic ladies of Ecuadorian descent, are also volunteers
and passionate about their program. The program
also has a third temporary co-host, Carla, a journalism
student from Mexico, here in Toronto until July.
Unfortunately Carla was unable to make it this past
Monday because she was caught up in Toronto transit
Just before 8 pm the three of us sat down around a round table
in the basement studio at Voces Latinas, and the big table-top microphones
were positioned in front of each of us. The volunteer sound engineer
was already positioned in the control room. The introductory music
came on right at 8 pm and about 7 minutes later I saw the red light
flash “al aire”, meaning that we were live
on the air.
Elina and Gina introduced the show and today’s
program. This took a few minutes and we went to
a music break right after, so I had a reprieve of
a few minutes. Funny enough, I wasn’t nervous.
The two radio hosts had created such a comfortable
atmosphere that I didn’t even feel uptight,
even though I was going to do a live interview in
my 3rd language!
This was quite different from my recent live television interview
with CTV Ottawa on May 19, when I reported live from the Tulip Festival
at 6 pm from Majors Hill Park. That was my first TV interview and
honestly, my knees were shaking, my lips were trembling and my teeth
were chattering. Once the cameraman put the earpiece into my ear
and the tiny microphone on my lapel, I got so incredibly nervous
about the fact that I was going to be beamed live all over the nation’s
capital and I figured it would be plainly obvious that I was freaked
out. But the anchorman Max Keeping, a local Ottawa celebrity and
recognized community leader, and his crew handled everything totally
professionally and I managed to calm myself down enough to get through
about 5 minutes of a live on-air TV interview. In the end I think
I did okay.
But strangely enough, at Voces Latinas I was totally
relaxed. We got going, and Elina and Gina had a
nice interplay between one another and they took
turns asking me questions about my full-time business,
my language services business, and my part-time
my travel website and the real passion of my life.
Their weekly program, “Back to School”,
focuses on educational issues, career choices, career
changes and career transitions, and it is broadcast
in "Spanglish" (a blend of English and
Spanish) every Monday night from 8 to 9 pm.
Obviously my choice to become an entrepreneur 16 years ago and
my decision 1.5 years ago to add another venture, fit into this
topic very well. Along the way the topic of me going back to school
to do 2 academic degrees part-time came up as well, and my ongoing
learning efforts in order to learn web design, photography, Internet
marketing and online publishing were touched on as well.
Time just flew by and before I realized it the hour was over. The
three of us chatted for a while and I mentioned that I might have
some news soon since I will be kicking off a fundraising effort
to benefit the Scadding
Court Community Centre’s (SCCC’s) International
Program in the near future. The SCCC sends at-risk youth from low
income neighbourhoods on community service programs to India to
take them out of their negative environments. In Kolkata they are
introduced to volunteer work where they are making a difference
to the local community. Instead of turning into gang leaders, the
participants in this program completely change their lives and their
outlook. In the end they often become community leaders after their
return to Toronto and continue their positive work locally in this
So I am hoping that next time I come out to Voces
Latinas I will have some interesting news to report
about the fundraising efforts for this excellent
program that helps people locally and abroad, building
bridges and communities in Toronto and on the other
side of the globe. Elina and Gina were quite interested
since they also have a strong dedication to community
service and they volunteer themselves, and they
invited me to come back in the next few weeks to
report on all the new developments.
Voces Latinas works with a great team of volunteers
who dedicate their time to the community, and their
show encourages local Spanish speakers to go back
to school, upgrade their skills and improve their
lives. Another example of how volunteers can make
such important contributions.
For volunteer, advertising or sponsorship opportunities with Voces
Latinas please contact:
Voces Latinas CHHA 1610 AM
Tel. (416) 782-2953
Fax (416) 782-1219