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Reno Rodeo launches first in-house, Spanish-language media team

Cattle rest in a pen near an outdoor arena.
Jose Davila IV
KUNR Public Radio
Cattle rest in an outdoor pen on the grounds of the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center in Reno, Nev. on June 22, 2022.

The Reno Rodeo may be over, but it launched a new program this year that could change how professional rodeos connect with Spanish-speaking communities.

Alex Lopez has rodeo and ranching in his blood. He comes from a long line of Mexican cowboys and grew up on ranches, but lost that connection to cowboy culture when he moved to the U.S. Now, he’s reconnecting to his roots as the director of El Reno Rodeo, the new in-house, Spanish-language media arm of the Reno Rodeo.

“This is the first time that any rodeo in the U.S. has ever done something like this where it has translated everything into Spanish,” Lopez said.

American rodeos grew out of Mexican ranch hand contests known as charreadas. Lopez said part of his job is explaining the differences for a Spanish-speaking audience. He does that by leading the rodeo’s daily, Spanish-language Facebook Live show about events on the rodeo grounds. He also runs the El Reno Rodeo Facebook page. Lopez added that the goal of the new initiative is to increase engagement with Reno’s Latino community.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
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