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A conversation with Hugo Acosta

5 Questions with Hugo Acosta

Produced by: Robin Clutters, Olga Rodriguez

Olga Rodriguez: You started this paper with the purpose of strengthening the Hispanic and Latino community. How has this community responded to CNY Latino?

Hugo Acosta

Hugo Acosta

Hugo Acosta: It has responded in a way positively.  Our population is growing, particularly in Central New York. Our population isn’t as concentric as modern metropolitan areas however it is growing so that it is not just middle class or below residents in Syracuse for example, but we also have professionals now, we have people in the political arena, business owners, people in the health industry, and different sectors that are giving a more positive image to our community.

Rodriguez:  You mentioned people in the political arena, who would you consider to be the most influential Hispanic in this community?

Acosta: We used to have an individual from Syracuse, Fernando Ortiz; he used to be the commissioner of economic development in the city. He passed away over six months ago.  He was a very strong leader.  We also had Bea Gonzalez who had different positions in SU.  She used to be the president of the common council. She also ran for the mayor of the city, a very influential, very key person also in the political arena and not just Latino.

Rodriguez: What kind of stories is CNY Latino covering that mainstream media is not?

Acosta: Well, sometimes we try to always lead community-related stories.  The local mainstream media, the big guys here, only cover those stories unless there are controversial issues, so we try to cover a lot of the local events that happen in the community.  What the famous Spanish action league is doing here.  Very often we try to cover minor community-related events, or we try to cover celebrations, sad news, like the death of Fernando Ortiz.  We cover what’s going on with social or cultural related organizations that have something to do with the Latino community here in Syracuse.

Rodriguez: What do you think are some of the biggest issues that Hispanics are dealing with right now?

Acosta: Well right now I would say job placement.  I was surprised to find out that most of the Spanish population comes here for job placement. There are more opportunities to work here than other places; at least that’s what I have been told from those coming from NYC and the east coast, New Jersey and places like that. Especially middle-grade type of jobs.  Educated-jobs type of thing.

Rodriguez: You’ve said that part of the purpose of CNY Latino was to help others learn about the Hispanic community and culture. What can somebody who is not Latino learn by reading your paper?

Acosta: So our publication is not only a communication tool for our culture but for people of other cultures. For example, American population frequently subscribes to us and may read about issues that affect us from an ethnic background.  Kidney failures and stuff like that is stronger

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