Bringing “La Voz del Sur” to Stamford High


Senior Ivana Nique presents the news for the Round Table’s “La Voz del Sur”

Ana Clara Mesquita, Reporter

Ivana Nique, a Peruvian senior at Stamford High School, recently created the Round Table’s Spanish news segment “La Voz del Sur.”

Nique’s parents were an enormous help with creating the name and her biggest supporters in the project. “My mom told me how she watches [the videos] every single week,” Nique said. “They’re very supportive of me.”

The initiative for the project came from Jon Ringel, the Round Table’s advisor. However, Nique related that the teacher gave her plenty of room to be creative and “take reins with it.” With all the challenges of starting something new at school, Nique counted on the support of her staff. “A bit of a struggle was coming up with staff members. This was something brand new. I had no designated staff. The first week was a struggle, but I’ve got very supportive staff members and students helping me. It’s difficult making sure everyone gets their things in order but everyone’s super supportive of it.”

The project began when Nique was asked to explain what the journalism course at school is to an ESL student at the beginning of the year. The idea came from the teacher after seeing her speak in Spanish and proposed, “What if we started a Spanish weekly news? Since Spanish-speaking kids make up such a good amount of the population at Stamford High.” The goal of the project was to reach this audience whose second language is English. Nique said, “The second most spoken language at Stamford High is Spanish. That’s a large audience and if they struggle with understanding English they are not able to see and enjoy the news as English speaking kids do”

“Speaking Spanish, it’s my second language, so speaking Spanish on camera isn’t something that I always feel super confident about,” said Nique, and she explained that doing it more often helps with her confidence and makes her feel even more connected with her Hispanic heritage.

Nique is a Latin-American student who was recently accepted to Yale University. She has Peruvian ancestry even though her dad was born in Mexico. Her parents immigrated when they were young adults, following their family who was mostly already living in the States. She reveals that for a lot of her childhood, she wasn’t keen on her culture, her country’s traditions and speaking Spanish. She reveals that as the youngest of four kids, she did not get to experience as much of the traditions. “I was not a fan of being Hispanic at all, I didn’t care for the music that they were playing,” said Nique. The element that helped her feel more comfortable with it was dance. She started a cultural dance called Marinera Nortena, and that propped her to begin speaking Spanish and listening to the music since most of the other kids in the class spoke Spanish too. Now, Nique loves it. “I came to really love and learn more about my culture when I started dancing. It was at that point when I was really immersed with my culture.”

Nique expressed that the most rewarding aspect of “La Voz del Sur” is reaching non-English speaking students with the news. Nique said, “I like feeling like something productive is being done. We’re getting the voice out to students who can’t understand it, we’re letting them know about current events. What’s rewarding to me is that I feel like I’m reaching a population that has never been reached before [at Stamford High], that never could watch the connection time news, that could never really be as involved in the school as they should have been, so I feel like I’m getting across to them, and letting them know that we see you.”