by Monique Guz
Now in its second season, a Spanish-language radio show is gaining popularity on Rider’s radio station.
La Melodia la Latina, which translates into The Latin Melody, was launched last semester on WRRC 107.7 FM, thanks to two bilingual students, Valerie Cedeno and Vicky Vera, and Dr. Hernan Fontanet of the foreign languages and literatures department.
“One of our first interviews consisted of the candidates running for the freshman elections,” said Vera, a freshman chemistry major of Ecuadorian heritage. “One of the candidates told me about the idea of the Spanish radio show and I was referred to Dr. Fontanet. When I spoke to him, I met Valerie, who was pursuing her studies through this production.”
Driven to show a panoramic approach to Latin American countries, the show not only exposes its listeners to various genres of Spanish music, but informs and educates them about topics such as culture, customs, science, politics and economics, with occasional feature interviews thrown into the mix.
“It’s going excellent,” Fontanet said. “Hopefully other ethnicities will get involved in this area. Maybe there will be a Portuguese, Italian or French approach in the future. I hope to establish a Spanish newspaper and television show as well.”
These catalytic developments would also equip and enhance a student in an increasingly multilingual nation.
“In the tri-state area alone, there are between 4 and 7 million people who speak Spanish,” he said.
The show recently attracted the attention of The Princeton Packet, and Fontanet hopes these projects will attract more diversity on campus as he feels the University is lacking in Spanish-speaking students.
Cedeno and Vera play bachata, a melancholy ballad of Dominican origin; reggaeton; Spanish hip-hop; salsa, the traditional Spanish ballroom dance; merengue, a fast tempo style of music; Spanish rock; and folk songs.
Featured artists included in their playlists include Aventura, Amartis, El Grand Combo and Wisin y Yandel.
“This also helps the campus community get acquainted with Hispanic music and Latin culture,” said Cedeno, who is of half-Colombian and half-Mexican heritage. “We’ve discussed a Spanish Thanksgiving as well as Christmas and New Years celebrations.
“I hope by introducing the Rider campus to our heritage, it will in one way or another diminish racial tension,” Vera said.
La Melodia la Latina airs across WRRC 107.7 FM’s airwaves every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon.