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Providing a 'piece of home' for the Hispanic community

An entrepreneurial couple in Luzerne County says it's making an impact for the Hispanic community here by providing it with something familiar.

ASHLEY, Pa. — Turn your radio to 95.3 in Wilkes-Barre, and you'll likely hear Barbara Morales's voice. 

One of many for the La Mega radio station.

Barbara and her husband, Jonathan Alcantara, started the radio station in December of 2020, after moving here from New England.  

"When we got here, like every single small business, we had to do our own job. We went into parking lots, put radio station flyers, we used to go to the supermarkets, see people inside their cars and stop and tell them, 'Can you put 94.9? Can you put 95.3? that's the new Spanish radio station.' And yeah, it was a lot of work, but it was worth it," said Morales.

Because, prior to their arrival, the couple says the Hispanic community here didn't have "a place to call, a place to have interaction, a place to hear their country's news," added Morales. "And here we are."

Right now, the operation is working out of a makeshift space in Ashley, as a studio in Wilkes-Barre is being built.

"To be more involved with the community, to be more local," explained Alcantara. "One studio in Wilkes-Barre and one in Scranton. That way, people can visit us in our local office."

Just one way La Mega is growing. What started as a radio station has grown to provide a place for local talent to get its start, grocery giveaways, and more.

"Hispanics, we're used to that, and we don't see that around, and you bring a radio station who's doing what other radio stations do in your country, you're going to go crazy, and that's what we are here for," said Morales.

The momentum to provide a 'piece of home' grew to include a full-blown festival. The 2nd annual Latin Festival took place over the weekend at Kirby Park.

"Everyone thought we were crazy, but it happened," said Morales. "The first year was amazing, the second year was even better, so this is going to be a legacy."

One they will continue to build here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

"The support of the people is incredible here, so I don't want to go to another city. I am happy here in Wilkes-Barre," said Alcantara.

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