Get to Know: Elvira Espinoza

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We’ll talk to Elvira Espinoza, co-founder of Unidos Magazine and CAMBIO, a bi-lingual magazine. She was the former publisher of La Voz and TV y Mas magazine. Espinoza was recently named a 2015 Arizona Latina Trailblazer by the Raul H. Castro Institute of Phoenix College.

Jose Cardenas: Four women will be honored at the seventh annual Arizona Latina Trailblazers Event presented by the Raul H. Castro Institute of Phoenix College. Joining us as we get to know Elvira Espinoza, one of the honorees. Governor Castro just passed away, does that add anything to the significance of the award coming up April 29th?

Elvira Espinoza: Yes, yes. The institute was named on his name. Being himself a Trailblazer, he was a personally, a Latino governor. To me it's going to be very, very significant to be there and to honor him, and to pay tribute for all the work he did for our community.

Jose Cardenas: Certainly the recognition of women of your caliber and all of the honorees are very distinguished, it is a tribute I would think to his name.

Elvira Espinoza: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: Your career as a journalist is fascinating. You were quite accomplished, well established in Mexico. Let's summarize your career there and talk about what brought you to the United States.

Elvira Espinoza: Yes, I was 17 years old when I was offered my first journalism job, which was one of the of the biggest newspapers in Mexico City. I was offered a job in a small magazine, it was small, but national. My first job was editorial coordinator. I was 17, very young and managing 25 other women. It was hard but fascinating. From there I left, I was there for five years. Because I was offered the position of national editor. At my time was the largest women's magazine in the country. And that took me to another different level because I started --

Jose Cardenas: Kind of the Spanish equivalent of what, Cosmo?

Elvira Espinoza: To Cosmo, Good Housekeeping, it's a mix. I started dealing with people in high levels, entrepreneurs, politicians, people from the entertainment business. And that opened up a very big door for me. I left to go back to my editorial home, because I was offered a very good position, public relations director of Fortune magazine. Then I was married at that time and my ex-husband decided to go to leave to Sonora. We lived there for two years. And then the first devaluation came and then the second came and we were there. We came here, he came first and then I came here.

Jose Cardenas: When would that have been?

Elvira Espinoza: Exactly in 1982, because we were undocumented. And we were part of the amnesty in 1986. And the cut was 1982, before that. I came to the United States before 1982. I remember really well that year.

Jose Cardenas: And you established yourselves in the publishing business and journalism.

Elvira Espinoza: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: Kind of picked up right where you left off in Mexico.

Elvira Espinoza: Not at the beginning but within a year we launched a magazine with a partner called Unidos Magazine. Then the publishing didn't work and we launched our own magazine which was Cambio Hispanic bilingual magazine. It was bilingual concept, made by journalists and working with all the issues in the Hispanic community. And it was very well received. I was there for -- for eight years. And then the civil separation came. So I -- I left Cambio to start a public relations company.

Jose Cardenas: And eventually you ended up being part of La Voz a major Spanish-language newspaper based here in Arizona. Tell us about that experience.

Elvira Espinoza: I started with the original owner in 1999 as copublisher, which was the core publication of the media company. La Voz was born on 2000, and I was just a column writer for the paper. Then he decided to merge all the companies and he named me publisher of the company I was overseeing.

Jose Cardenas: And you were honored, recognized for your accomplishments as a publisher and editor and everything else in a publication. We have a picture we want to put up in on the screen of the cover of this magazine, where we're recognizing your accomplishments.

Elvira Espinoza: This -- this is my -- I think my legacy. It was a supplement that I did to celebrate 100 years of the statehood of Arizona. It was hard to me to put it out because there was no money. So I have to go out and sell it. And it was my first attempt and very successful because as a publisher, I couldn't walk that fine line. But I decided to sell an editorial concept with that content. So that was the result. And we printed 200,000 copies in Spanish and 200,000 copies in English. And this special edition, it's all over the United States, the Universities and colleges. To me, that's my legacy.

Jose Cardenas: And I had in mind a different cover, the one that had you on it. But you're right, this is a significant contribution to the community here. You're doing other things now, you've moved on. Tell us about your latest venture.

Elvira Espinoza: I launched an online magazine. It is a publication made by Latinos for Latinos. And we include all the topics that are relevant for our community education and immigration and health, parenting.

Jose Cardenas: And some pretty sensitive ones including domestic violence.

Elvira Espinoza: Yes. We have special issues and special packages. Domestic violence was the first one we launched last year, to be part of the domestic violence month. And we decided to do it in English because we recognize this problem affects women and men, Spanish and English speaking in the Latino community.

Jose Cardenas: But you talked about the legacy, you think you've already established, sound like you've go at lot more to add to that. Our congratulations, well deserved.

Elvira Espinoza: Thank you.

Elvira Espinoza:Co-Founder, Unidos Magazine and CAMBIO;

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