Letter from the editors: Two years of La DePaulia

It was two years ago today when DePaul journalism students Hillary Flores, Jonathan Aguilar, Izabella Grimaldo and myself launched Chicago’s first Latino student newspaper — La DePaulia. 

All from different backgrounds and walks of life — we had one thing that united us: our mission to establish a Spanish speaking platform that would provide us the space to report on DePaul’s and Chicago’s Latino community. 

At that time of launching, little did we know of the doors and blessings La DePaulia would open and the stories we would cover. 

Two years in, La DePaulia has welcomed new faces and voices to our newsroom to continue the mission. Within this past year, our coverage has ranged from stories on Little Village environmental racism, the killing of Adam Toledo, El Milagro Tortillas workers strike and the passing of Mexico’s beloved Vicente Fernández. 

As we commemorate our second year anniversary we thank those along the way who have supported us: The DePaulia and La DePaulia Faculty Adviser Marla Krause, DePaul University College of Communication, The DePaulia newsroom, Sandra Guy, Robin Hoecker,  La DePaulia’s mentor Jessica Villagomez and La DePaulia’s editors and writers.

To our Latino community and readers, thank you for being with us this past two years. Your stories and your voices are the reason for our mission and our platform to continue. 

A message from our editors

Erika Perez, Managing Editor, La DePaulia

Erika Pérez(@_Kika_Perez) is the Managing Editor of La DePaulia. She’s specializing in Communications & Latino Media. Erika is most empowered when writing about the uplifting stories of the Latinx community. She’s been reporting for La DePaulia’s news section for over a year.
Email her at [email protected] (María Marta Guzmán)

So far being part of La DePaulia has been a great experience. Feels like I’m part of a family. Working with the team has definitely made me a better writer. We bounce off each other’s ideas that have led to great stories. We have covered many topics like education, social justice, and culture. We have written profiles of people in the Latino community both locally and nationally. I like how through La DePaulia I’ve been able to meet new people who teach me new things through every interview. I’m proud of the work we have done that continues to highlight the Latino community from their day-to-day struggles to overcoming hardships and celebrating life.

Bryan Matthew Lopez, former Opinions and Arts & Life Editor, La DePaulia

Bryan Matthew Lopez, Former Opinions and Arts & Life Editor, La DePaulia (María Marta Guzmán)

It was an honor to work on the editorial team at La DePaulia. As a non-journalism major, I was able to strengthen my journalistic abilities and my Spanish writing. Working at La DePaulia also strengthened my abilities to work collaboratively on a team with other passionate Latinos.  

I love writing and storytelling, thus being able to continue those passions in the Arts & Life and Opinions sections was really rewarding. What La DePaulia does and represents is truly unique. After every print edition, I would make sure to save a copy for my great-grandparents who only speak Spanish. Receiving their phone calls all the way from Colombia about how much they enjoyed our stories was a continuous reminder of how special La DePaulia is.

Santiago Posada-Jaramillo, Opinions and Arts & Life Editor, La DePaulia

Santiago Posada-Jaramillo is the Opinions Editor of La DePaulia. He enjoys coffee, politics, pirates, snakes, history, psychology, and video games. He is from Colombia and new to the U.Sand DePaul. Santiago is ready to press (get it?) for a better world one action at a time.
Email him at [email protected] (María Marta Guzmán)

Latinos in the U.S. have to deal with many things challenges: identity crisis, discrimination, fear, language barrier, feeling out of place, on top of having to face other problems in this country. 

Having to carry all of that on our backs, it’s easy to feel that our voices are not heard. La DePaulia aims to change that, giving a space where Latino voices can be heard, loud and clear.

Julia Atencia, Multimedia Editor, La DePaulia

Juliana Atencia, La DePaulia’s Multimedia Editor, is a true creative that challenges herself to create content with impact to amplify voices in communities of color. She is currently finalizing her Communications & Media Undergraduate Degree, and hopes to pursue a career in multimedia journalism. Spending over a year at La DePaulia, allowed her to grow as a content creator and journalist.
Email her at: [email protected] (María Marta Guzmán)

About two years ago I knew I wanted to be involved in one of DePaul’s media organizations, but I was overwhelmed by options. Fast forward a year, I attended a meeting held by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists at DePaul (NAHJ) in the hopes of receiving extra credit for a course. I tuned out of the meeting until former Editor-in-Chief of La DePaulia Hillary Flores started speaking about the publication. I was dazzled. I reached out to Hillary to pitch an article and before I knew it, I was welcomed as a fresh writer. I continue to be amazed by La DePaulia, not only because it challenged me as a bilingual journalist but because of the collective effort to uphold this platform to amplify Latino voices. It’s been beautiful to witness the growth of the publication and our team. I hope La DePaulia continues its growth with the future editorial team. 

Jocelyn Diaz, Assistant Multimedia Editor, La DePaulia

Jocelyn Diaz, La DePaulia Multimedia Assistant Editor
Email her at: @[email protected] (Jocelyn Diaz) (María Marta Guzmán)

I started working for La DePaulia during the beginning of my senior year at DePaul and I honestly wish I had joined the team sooner. I’ve had nothing but the best time working with like-minded people who dedicated themselves to catering to the Latinx community at DePaul. I’ve learned about topics that I would have never known about had it not been for our team and their amazing pitches. Working at La DePaulia has helped me rediscover my love for writing and I would easily say my time at La DePaulia has been a highlight of my time at DePaul University. 

María Marta Guzmánn, Editor in Chief and Co-founder, La DePaulia

María Marta Guzmán (@themariamguzman) is an undergrad student majoring in journalism and double-minoring in Spanish and Latino Studies. She was born in Managua, Nicaragua and raised in Miami, FL. María also leads the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) at DePaul as President.
Contact Information:
Email María at [email protected]. (Bryan Matthew López)

La DePaulia has been a sense of home and family for me these last two years. I co-founded the newsroom with a group of colleagues that have become more than friends to me. In some way, I consider to have grown alongside the publication with first leading as Managing Editor and now Editor-in-Chief. La DePaulia has not only helped me grow my journalism skills but my personal skills as well by challenging me with leadership and administration decisions. As a senior undergraduate student six months away from graduating, La DePaulia has truly been the highlight and one of my proudest accomplishments in my college career. 

My immigration journey from Nicaragua to the U.S. is one of the many reasons why I’m pursuing a career in journalism. The challenges my family and I faced as newly arrived immigrants only inspired me to tell the stories of the Latino community. Through La DePaulia I am able to do just that and provide a platform for Latinos in Chicago. 

What’s next?

As for the future, my biggest hope and goal for La DePaulia is for the publication to continue long after today’s current editorial team graduates. La DePaulia was created with the mission of providing a platform for Latino voices and stories citywide. Recent data from the Census Bureau reveals Latinos to be the second largest racial group in Chicago. Therefore, having the publication discontinued due to a lack of leadership or administration structure will be a disservice to Latinos. More than ever does Chicago now need Spanish and bilingual publications that can accurately report on the diversity of the Latino population.