Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sebree radio station serves Spanish speaking community

J-E News Editor
As you scan through the radio dial in the city of Sebree, you might notice a station that seems a little out of place. As you hit 93.1 FM, your speakers will be filled with the sound of mostly upbeat music and Spanish speaking singers. Although some people may never give it a second thought, I had to know the story, so I set out to track down the origins of this mysterious radio station.
What I discovered was a radio station that had been hiding in plain sight. There was really no mystery nor any attempt to mislead anyone, it was as simple as the fact that few people outside of the Spanish speaking community were aware that the station even existed.

Even many members of the Sebree city council were unaware that they had a radio station right in their backyard.
“Mainly it’s the Spanish-speaking Christian community that knows about the radio station,” said Angelica Vazquez. “We’ve tried to tell other people to listen to the radio, but they’ve chosen not to.”
“Radio Esperanza Kentucky”, which translates roughly to Radio of Hope, has been broadcasting it’s message  of faith to Sebree’s Spanish speaking residents for the last five years, going mostly unnoticed by the rest of the community. 
Pastor Leonardo and Angelica Vazquez moved from Mexico to Louisville fourteen years ago to help minister to Spanish speakers who had immigrated to the United States. About ten years ago they landed in Sebree, where they operate the Iglesia Cristiana  “El Buen Pastor”, or Christian Church of The Good Shepherd.
According to Leo, the particular denomination of the church would be what is considered Pentecostal by most people in the US.
Five years ago Leo and Angelica had the opportunity to start the radio station at their church, and despite not having any background in broadcasting, they jumped at the chance. It was a chance not only to reach their own parishioners, but to reach out into the greater Spanish speaking community.
Radio Esperanza Kentucky broadcasts a mix of Christian music, scriptures and inspirational messages all in Spanish. In addition, on Tuesdays, the station broadcasts a sermon in English for one of the local English speaking churches.
Although a noncommercial station, Leonardo and Angelica do try to help the Spanish speaking community by broadcasting local public announcements when possible. Among other things, they help Sebree school get announcements out to parents and students.
“There are many ways that people can listen to our station,” Angelica explained. “You can listen to us on the air, on the internet at or by calling 401-283-6884 from any phone.”

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