HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — Eric Esquivel moved to Hilton Head as a child with his family in 1983. His family moved from Philadelphia. Eric’s dad was a doctor and wanted to start his own practice on the island.
However, when they settled in, Eric noticed there was something missing. His family was one of the few families that spoke Spanish.
“The only doctor in the area who speaks Spanish was his dad,” said Camilo Florido, La Isla’s Director of Marketing. “So they realized that there was no bridge of communication between the Hispanic community because it was like the needs that the community was looking for. And in 1999, the family got together and they started La Isla magazine.”
La Isla magazine serves as what they call a survival guide for Spanish speakers and fills that void Eric first noticed as a kid. Over the years the place that Eric now calls home, feels different.
The Hispanic population has grown significantly in Beaufort County. The magazine that’s published monthly is giving a voice to empower and educate the rich Latino culture in the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire.
“Twenty-four years ago, we didn’t have the opportunity, for example, to talk about a story of a police officer that is from, that that comes from a Hispanic family, probably was born here, or a fireman who now serves our community and comes from or probably in the political field,” Florido said. “The Hispanic community is involved in many in many areas.”
The magazine is printed in both Spanish and English and breaking down that language barrier is one of the magazine’s main goals. Instead, building a bridge, so both English and Spanish speakers can better understand each other.
“Maybe through the magazine, we understand in a better way what is happening and how we can build a better bridge to solve many of those problems,” Florido said. “For example, immigration is one of the most important, probably, topics that we always have.”
La Isla plays a huge role in organizing events and festivals in the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire. Their goal is simple, bring people together to enjoy and celebrate Hispanic heritage.
“We have, like I said, 21 countries that speak Spanish, but every country is totally different. Every country has their own culture, their own way to speak, their own way to celebrate their own nationality,” Florido said. “I believe that Hispanic community, one of the things that we love is to share, to share our culture.”
You can pick up a copy of the magazine in stores throughout the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire. You can also read the magazine on its website. The next edition focuses on Venezuela and will be published on Oct. 1.