Our Person of the Week Keeps his Community Connected
Twenty years ago the Latino Press published its first edition in the basement of a home in southwest Detroit.
Today, the paper is an important part of the Latino community in Detroit. Elias Gutierrez has been the owner and publisher for two decades. And Dave LewAllen explains why he is our Detroit 2020 person of the week.
Hundreds of people showed up today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Latino Press. The publishing company is the largest Hispanic media company in Michigan and the free Latino Press newspaper is distributed weekly to 30-thousand households.
Hayg Oshagen is and when you think of it as being read by family members, you are reaching a large section of the population and that is a powerful influence in the life of an ethnic and minority community.
Most of the paper is in Spanish. Many of the stories contain news from Mexico and other Latin American countries. There are also articles that explain life in the United States, and especially Detroit.
Gutierrez says many of the immigrants coming to this country need information in Spanish.
But today’s celebration wasn’t just to honor a publication, it also recognized a company and a man who give back to the community.
As Gutierrez told us, “This community needs a lot. Hispanics and any minority in this area need a lot.”
So Gutierrez and the Latino Press give food boxes to 200 families each Christmas season, providing groceries for a month.
They present backpacks with school supplies to students in four schools.
Other projects for Gutierrez and his organization include a free dentistry day, legal assistance for people with limited resources and special Mothers Day celebrations.
Oshagan says, “In most cases, the ethnic media is the mortar in the brick structure of a community. It’s what holds it together in a real sense.”
We agree with him that, “Elias’ newspaper has become the voice of the Latino community.”
For that reason, and more, we’ve chosen Elias Gutierrez as Detroit 2020’s Person of the Week.
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