Staff members were busy at Monday’s meeting of A medio camino, Kenyon’s new Spanish-language newspaper.
“Did you write an article? Did you find more writers?” Sofia Alpizar Roman ’21, one of the organization’s general directors, asked the group of 15 members in Timberlake House.
One person had solicited a story from a Kenyon student studying abroad in Panama. Another said she had interviewed a Mexican novelist last year; the interview was in English, but she could translate it.
Founded last semester, A medio camino (which translates to “halfway there” in Spanish, inspired by Middle Path), plans to publish its first issue at the end of February. It will feature a collection of news, personal stories, creative writing and opinions, all written in Spanish and concerning Spanish or Latinx people and culture.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Diego del Río Arrillaga, new to Kenyon this year, got the idea for the project last semester when he realized how many Spanish-speaking Kenyon students wanted to explore the news, writing and literature of Spanish-speaking cultures.
“I just wanted to mix the more artistic ivory tower part with the social,” del Río Arrillaga said in November, when the Collegian first spoke to him about the newspaper. “For me that was really important not just to have news, but also the creative part. Sometimes people just want to write poetry.”
At the end of last semester, del Río Arrillaga assembled a staff of 15 students, mostly first years and sophomores, with a range of fluency levels and backgrounds. Spanish language learners, for instance, will be in charge of distributing the newspaper.
Alpizar Roman is an international student from Costa Rica, and Dani Martinez ’21, the other general director, grew up speaking Spanish with her mother, who is from Argentina. Others, like Grace Cross ’21, attended a Spanish immersion school.
Alpizar Roman hopes the newspaper will unite Spanish speakers at Kenyon, help those learning the language practice outside of class and connect Kenyon students with people off the Hill.
“I can tell that Spanish speakers are a strong community here, although it’s not high in quantity,” Martinez said.
The newspaper will have three sections. The first, which they call Community Outreach, will cover local news in Gambier and Knox County. The second will focus on opinions pieces and essays about world events relevant to Hispanic countries or populations. The third will contain creative writing in Spanish.
Within these categories, the content is still flexible. Cross, for one, plans on writing a series of reviews of classic books. “I was reading a lot of classic Spanish lit; I thought it would be good to continue with it in my free time,” she said.
The members are still figuring out some logistics. Their first issue will function as a trial run; after that, they aim to publish once a month. They might publish English summaries of the articles alongside the ones written in Spanish, or print QR codes which lead to English blurbs on the website. The vast majority of the content, however, will be in Spanish.
An earlier version of this article misidentified the name of the newspaper as El Medio Camino rather than its actual name, A medio camino. It also claimed the name translates to “Middle Path.” In fact, the name is only inspired by Middle Path and literally translates to “halfway there.” Finally, the earlier version of this article stated that the Community Outreach section would cover issues related to the Spanish-speaking community in Knox County, when in reality the Community Outreach section will cover all kinds of local news.