In Alaska the Latin American community makes up over six percent of the state’s total population; this means that we are around 50,000 Latinos, coming from nearly all of the countries of Latin America. According to the 2014 census, we represent the second most numerous minority group in the state after Alaska Natives. Yet where are we when decisions are made that negatively affect our community?
Our capacity to organize as members of the Latin American community cannot be negated. Simply seeing the vitality of celebrations such as the Day of the Dead is enough to know that there is a community of people who are proud of their origins and willing to receive anyone they meet with a smile. Nevertheless, the political landscape of the upcoming elections and the open discrimination that we have seen against our people remind us that celebratory gatherings are not enough.
Today it is more important than ever that Latinos act not as isolated individuals, but as a community defined by the shared ideas of integration, solidarity, and social ties. With this objective in mind, we founded Sol de Medianoche. The name of this periodical clearly alludes to the geographic singularity of Alaska. It also honors a long tradition of Spanish language newspapers entitled El Sol. And finally it brings us to the paradoxical idea of a light in the darkness, like our summer sunshine. That is what we would like our newspaper to be: a radiant light in the midst of the night, and not only this, but also the first strand of a web of permanent collaboration between the members of the Latin American community. We know that living in a place so isolated and distant from our people makes us vulnerable, but we are also mindful that Latinos have learned the value of loving collaboration in settings such as the family, the basis of our societies. The family is the heart that pumps our blood, the mirror which allows us to discover ourselves, to know who we are, to recognize our past and to feel proud of our identities. The family is the set table, the food of our youth, and the place where we sit together to enjoy and share with one another. Our trust in community starts at the roots, with our trust and love for our families. Therefore, the goal of this newspaper is fundamental: to create a place where Latinos can sit together as a family, a forum where we meet and get to know one another, a publication whose content nurtures and guides us. The benefits can be enormous: an informed and connected community is healthier and demands more political transparency; it creates new spaces to collaborate, and it knows that, no matter the size of the problems that confront us, we are never alone. So here is our mission: to inform, educate, and unite our community. Thank you for being part of our project!
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE NEWS, LLC. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska