University of Toledo graduate Linda Parra has just launched Toledo’s first fully Spanish-language radio station, WVZC-LP 96.5 FM Nuestra Gente.
The station officially went on air Dec. 30 and has been broadcasting a lineup of Latin favorites and hits, reaching the Spanish-speaking community in most of Toledo, Rossford and Oregon.In 2005, Parra started a Spanish-language program, “Nuestra Gente Radio Show.” After being asked why Spanish-language programming was only on a few hours a week, Parra began dreaming of starting a Spanish-language station.
“The whole community has been asking to hear something in their own language,” Parra said. “There were Spanish stations in other communities, but not in Toledo, where the population is growing.”
She said the station’s long-term goal is to expand the programming the station offers beyond music to news, weather and other vital community information.
“We are contributing to local education and providing a voice to those who speak Spanish who may find it harder to access the media,” Parra said. “Without the station, they would not be able to participate in local news, discussions and debate. It’s empowering for the listeners.
“The music we offer through our station is varied with the traditional rhythms that distinguish the cultures of different Latin American countries,” she added.
In 2008, Parra founded a nonprofit organization called Nuestra Gente Community Projects to serve Lucas County’s Hispanic population. The nonprofit looks to provide a combination of health and community-based programs, including education, social services, and health and safety awareness to residents, migrant workers and families.
This fall, Parra plans on returning to UT to pursue the dual juris doctor and master of public health. She received a bachelor of arts degree in international business from University College in 2016.
For more information on Nuestra Gente or to make a donation, visit nuestragentecommunityprojects.org.