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KC's 1st bilingual newspaper keeps founder's legacy alive

Dos Mundos newspaper continues to a be a free community source forty years after it was first founded
Posted at 6:09 AM, Mar 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-11 07:41:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas City’s only bilingual newspaper, Dos Mundos, continues to carry the legacy of its founder Clara Reyes.

Reyes passed away last month at 86 years old and is remembered as a pioneer who gave a voice to KC's Hispanic community.

"We want to be the outlet and a voice for our communities and I say communities plural because it's both communities," said Edward Reyes, vice president of Reyes Media Group.

Dos Mundos was founded in 1981 and started in the basement of Reyes' home in Overland Park, Kansas, Edward recalls helping his parents deliver the newspaper to people's homes during its early days. The paper has evolved into a weekly English and Spanish newspaper that brings valuable information to readers.

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"The community embraced it, and love it and really found that it was a unique bridge to connect consumers with services that were needed and from there, it grew," Edward Reyes said.

As circulation grew, Clara Reyes and her husband Manuel created memorable relationships with notable actors, politicians and legendary Latin artists. Many of those connections are proudly displayed as photographs inside the offices of Manuel and Clara, which can still be found inside Dos Mundos headquarters in KCK.

Clara and Manuel Reyes with legendary actor Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes known as Cantinflas

But divulging culture in two languages wasn’t always easy especially as the newspaper sought out advertisers. Edward remembers being turned down by large national companies who didn't understand advertising to Spanish-speaking consumers.

"They're a little intimidated by the thought that they were advertising to a Spanish language community. At one point they even said, 'We're not even sure we carry what you guys wear,'" Edward said.

Despite the push back, Clara and her family's determination kept the paper alive and evolved into Reyes Media Group which owns a variety of radio, print and digital media platforms and launched the careers of many.

"Every day, someone that I don't know, comes up to me and says, 'Sorry to hear about your mom, she was such a huge impact for me in our organization,' or 'She helped me get from point A to point B in my career.' We get phone calls, emails every day from people that said that she touched their lives in some ways," Edward said. "I think my sister and I feel like we've got some big shoes to fill."

Dos Mundos is one of the last remaining free bilingual newspapers in the country. To learn more visit its website.