Spanish-language newspaper thrives in small town Wisconsin

Alejandro Vazquez (Alexandra Wimley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin photo)

ABBOTSFORD – Within a broader story about Hispanic immigration, Wausau Daily Herald reporter Keith Uhlig highlights an unlikely news source in a central Wisconsin town.

Alejandro Vazquez, who trained and worked as a journalist in Mexico City before coming to the United States, runs a Spanish-language newspaper, Noticias, and radio station, El Primerito, from his Abbotsford home. Of the town’s approximately 2,100 residents, more than a quarter are Hispanic, giving Vazquez a captive audience.

Vazquez moved to Wisconsin in the 1990s, part of an influx of Hispanic workers in Abbotsford. Part of that increase, which helped revive the town, can be attributed to the expansion of Abbyland, a meat processing company that now employs more than 1,000 people.

As the demographics in Abbotsford changed, so too, did the businesses. And in 2004, Vazquez followed suit with Noticias.

Vazquez found readers and advertisers not only in Abbotsford but also in small towns across Wisconsin with similarly concentrated pockets of Hispanic residents.

“We are all here to follow and get our dreams,” said Vazquez’s daughter, Ivone. “We are all here to be someone in life.”

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