Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Iowa Newspaperman, Costa Rican Immigrant Give Hispanics La Voz

HUMBOLDT - Humboldt newspaper publisher Jim Gargano sees parallels between Iowa's burgeoning Hispanic community and his own Italian family.

Coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s in Fort Dodge, Gargano listened to his grandmother, Rosalia Maggio, speak Italian in his hard-working home.

"I learned both languages when I was growing up," Gargano said. "Fort Dodge had a lot of Italians back then."

He recalls hearing anti-immigrant smears about Italians from time to time.

Today, as a community leader in north-central Iowa, an area that is increasingly Latino-rich, Gargano on occasion will hear echoes of that bigotry in comments from some white native Iowans about Hispanics.

His answer is simple:"You can like or dislike the Hispanics but they are going to be here."

With shared immigrant experience as motivation, Gargano Communications launched the Spanish-language newspaper La Voz "The Voice" in late 2007.

"I had kind of a reason to do this," Gargano told Iowa Independent in his offices in downtown Humboldt.

The rest of this story can be found at Iowa Independent.com.

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