GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Three students at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay (UWGB) have recently started a podcast highlighting members of Northeast Wisconsin’s Latino community.
Meet the students involved with this podcast:
Kelly Lamas is a junior double majoring in Spanish and social work with an emphasis in child welfare.
Mario Huarota is a senior majoring in Spanish Education.
Kory Brunette is a junior majoring in Spanish and minoring in Global Studies.
The students say they were initially approached by one of their professors from the Spanish department asking them to take on this project.
They say their professor got the idea from a podcast he listened from a school in Ohio that was doing something similar.
“He wanted to create an audio archive for other students in our Spanish Department,” said Mario Huarota. “When he gave the idea to us, he gave us creative control, I think, and let us create what we thought would be best for our school and our goals and our mission for this project and spreading awareness to the community.”
All three of them say they have a passion for the language and the area Latino community. They say it was no question that they wanted to jump on board and be part of this project.
“When I was taking my first Spanish classes in high school that’s when I sort of fell in love with the concept of learning a new language and the doors that could be opened. And how that could let me interact with a part of the community that I might not otherwise have had the opportunity to,” said Kory Brunette.
They say this podcast allows them to not only practice their Spanish comprehension but showcase real people in their community that one might otherwise overlook.
“When we first started this podcast it was kind of like we didn’t really know what to expect. But I feel like we’ve learned a lot, we’ve grown a lot as a team and we’ve gotten the opportunity to interview a lot of people and learn about what the members in our community are experiencing and in ways which we can help them improve as members of our community while educating other members in our community who are unaware of what is actually going on,” said Kelly Lamas.
To date, the students have interviewed members of the community who are bilingual therapists, DACA recipients, restaurant owners, and others.
If you would like to listen to the Spanish-Language podcast click here.
The students say nowadays it’s very simple to get a podcast going: no fancy equipment and just with the magic of their computer.
Learn more about what has been Brunette's favorite episode to record.
Huarota also shares that his favorite episode to record was with the bilingual therapist as well. He went on to share about the importance of shedding light on mental health in the Latino community.
For Lamas, she shares that one of her favorite episodes to record was one done with Nacho del Rio a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient.
"Nacho del Rio is a student who was in the police academy with NWTC. He was pursuing his dream of becoming a police officer but due to the restrictions Brown County has, he was ineligible to become a police officer. So he found out that the way he could pursue his dream was to become a patrol officer," Lamas said.
Lamas says del Rio's story is something she herself can resonate with.
"I relate to that a lot because I myself am a DACA recipient. I grew up with him and it was just kind of nice to see how much he's grown and what he's done for our community and ways our community has helped him," Lamas said.
Huarota shared how this podcast has also really helped them with their interpersonal skills.
The students ask the public if anyone has any suggestions of Latinos or Spanish-speaking individuals in the community to feature for future podcast to reach out to them.