Thursday, July 19, 2007

Immigrant Reading

Aside from the free daily newspapers I've mentioned before, there are also at least two weekly papers targeting immigrants: Sí, Se Puede and Barcelona Latino. Both papers publish editions in Madrid, Catalonia and the "Levant", which is how Spaniards refer to the Southeastern coast.

Sí, Se Puede's full name is, "Sí, Se Puede el periódico de la integración", or "Yes, You Can the newspaper of integration." It's aimed at immigrants from Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Near East.

Sí, Se Puede is a Spanish owned company and claims that its main objective is to inform immigrants about how to integrate and about what is going on in the community. It also owns and operates a foundation named "Fundación Sí, Se Puede." Although I read the paper when I can, I really know nothing about the foundation and how genuine a non-profit organization it may, or may not, be.

Barcelona Latino is part of the "Latino" group of papers by a company named Novapress, which doesn't provide a lot of information about itself on its website. (Which leads me to believe it is probably not owned by Latin Americans, just as Sí, Se Puede isn't owned by immigrants.) Their byline is "La voz de nuestra comunidad," or "The voice of our community." As the name implies, it targets Latin Americans living in Spain. The paper claims to "identify emotionally" (sounds a little scary) with its Latin American readers and to provide information useful to their lives.

Both papers usually offer features on individuals who have successfully adapted to life here (usually successful business people), updates on issues effecting immigrants (which I always appreciate), news from home countries (nothing from my country, but then that's usually in every other paper), sports coverage, entertainment and lots and lots of advertising. Here are a few of the popular advert categories:

Money Transfer Services
Long Distance Phone Plans
Fortune Tellers
Dental Clinics

...and pretty much in that order. So, although neither paper mentions it in their mission statements, another goal of theirs is also to sell advertising, like all papers. And I suppose the fact that Spaniards are publishing such periodicals is a sign of the growing economic power of immigrants here.

I usually enjoy reading both newspapers, but I wish they had more information about local activities and community listings. I'm sure I'm not the only immigrant who would find locations and contact details of important services a handy thing to see in a paper.
In addition, I'd like to see a listing of where restaurants that serve food from various nations are located. As it is, I just see the odd advert for an ethnic restaurant now and then, so I catch as catch can. As a matter of fact, I'm looking at an ad right now for a place named Mi Cali Bella that says it specializes in Colombian and Ecuadoran cooking. Hmmm, sounds interesting. I'll try to check it out soon and let you know how it is. In the meantime, I'm going to cook myself some dinner!

Ciao amig@s,


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