The Poconos have a new Latino magazine: Latino Espectacular. It was born in Allentown fifteen years ago through the energy and dedication of Isa Pereyra, a Dominican woman who felt all Hispanics were her people, that Spanish was her first language, and that she could make a career in TV, on radio, and with a magazine. She does all three spectacularly well.
Beginning this month, Latino Espectacular can be found here in Monroe County because Isa found a partner in Sylvia Piserchio, a successful business woman originally from Ecuador, who has been living in the Poconos for over twenty five years. Not very long ago, I met with both of them in Allentown, along with Gil Coronado, a friend who embraces his parents Mexican’s origins and supports the Hispanic community by working with me on my radio program on 96.7 FM. Gil is an entrepreneur with CILA, his own management company that supports emerging artists.
Isa took us all out to eat and dance at a family oriented Dominican club in Allentown. That is where I discovered the soul of the Dominicans. They move to the beat and know all of the most popular songs of their country by heart. “These beautiful people,” I thought, “breathe the music that is part of their soul and their culture.” (Especially bachata and merengue, their most popular forms).
That night, Isa told me about her life and about the three sons she brought up almost totally on her own. “I was performing since I was a child, “she told me. “ I needed to create art and bring people together”.
Sylvia and Isa had known each other for a long time, but just a month earlier Sylvia finally told Isa, “The time has come to bring our magazine to the Poconos. There is a definitely market for it”
In a month they put it together and last week, the Pocono edition was distributed for the first time. These two women had an idea, saw it through, and a month later made it a reality.
Discovering these Hispanics and their passion for bringing a common understanding to different Spanish-speaking nationalities, is something I have only seen in this country, specifically in the Poconos. Isa and Sylvia, like my friends in FLECHA, come together to preserve a common culture. They find joy in celebrating with food, music, and laughter across boundaries. In Spain, things are different, perhaps because Spanish is spoken everywhere and many cultural traditions are taken for granted.
Since my Spanish radio show started two years ago this week, first in Spanish with WESS Radio and now in English at Pocono 96.7, I’ve kept my ears open to the Hispanic community where I keep hearing a constant message, “There is not yet enough for us here, we want more”. Well now there is more: This column every week in the Pocono Record (translated into Spanish on my blog), Latino Spectacular Magazine and “Tu Voz con Christina” Radio Show. The Poconos possess a rich community of diverse cultures that grow better and blossom because they share with each other.