Today we have with us Yvette Tello, the Publisher of La Prensa Texas, the oldest bilingual newspaper in the United States. Yvette, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Yvette Tello: I am a daughter, mother, grandmother, and a Latina born and raised in San Antonio Texas. I own a small construction and production company and have a background in real estate and hotel sales. I manage a heavy metal tribute band and like you said, the Publisher of La Prensa Texas.
Roy Aguillon: Yvette, as a Latina in the media industry, what is your perspective on the progress that Latinos have made in America?
Yvette Tello: I believe that Latinos are slowly but surely gaining the respect and acknowledgement we deserve. When I think about how things used to be for my parents, I can see that we have come a long way. We are making significant contributions to our communities, as artists, actors, business men and women, and even as millionaires. However, there are still many people out there who do not see Latinos as leaders. Despite this, we will continue to prove people wrong through our actions and the things we accomplish. We are definitely a force to be reckoned with, and I am proud to represent and do good for my people.
Roy Aguillon: As a Latina living in America today, what does it mean to you?
Yvette Tello:, I am proud to have a voice and the freedom to use it. However, it has not always been this way. My father was once told by a teacher in high school that he was a good kid. He just needed to sit at the back of the classroom and keep quiet and he would be ok. He was also told that he should always remember that there would never be a Mexican American President. But my reality is different from his. I am incredibly grateful for the amazing platform I have now to share with our community and encourage others to use their voices as well. It is important to discuss the face of Latino culture today, as there are still many people who do not fully understand our similarities and differences. While I am honored to be where I am today, I also recognize that not everyone has been given the same opportunities. It is important for doors to be opened for everyone, so that we can feel a movement happening and for it to truly be significant.
Roy Aguillon:Yvette, can you tell us about how you found your voice?
Yvette Tello: When I was 9 years old, my mother would send me to school in shirts that said Chicana Power. At the time, I didn’t fully understand the meaning behind it, but I remember feeling empowered by the attention it brought. It made teachers treat me differently, in a positive way. Looking back, I realize that my mother had unknowingly planted a seed within me, igniting a spark that would eventually lead me to find my own voice. I am grateful for her influence and for the confidence she instilled in me, even from such a young age. Additionally, seeing the way my father was treated by his teachers growing up and the limitations placed on his voice infuriated me and further influenced me to use my own voice.
Roy Aguillon: What are some of the challenges you face as a Latina in the media industry?
Yvette Tello: One of my biggest challenges is uncovering the rich history and stories of our community. We were here first but our stories are being told last. Our stories and contributions to America have been overlooked and undervalued for far too long. Growing up, my grandmother would share stories of our ancestors and their struggles, traditions, and customs. At the time, I didn’t fully understand the significance of these stories and how they contributed to America’s history. As an adult, I am now aware of the immense impact that Latinos have had on this country through hard work, determination, and creativity. My mother instilled in me the importance of being a woman with a voice and the power of the media. As a result, I feel a great responsibility to find and tell the stories of our community, ensuring that they are finally given the recognition and value they deserve.
Roy Aguillon: What advice would you give to young Latina women who are aspiring to make a positive impact on the world?
Yvette Tello: My advice would be to use your voice. Tell your story. Share your experiences. Stay true to your values and never compromise your integrity. And always remember that your background, your culture, your experiences, and your struggles are not weaknesses, but rather, they are the very things that make you unique and give you the strength to achieve greatness. Build each other up, do not pull each other down. Be proud of who you are. Us ladies need to stick together.