MILWAUKEE — The sound of fingers vigorously typing, trying to meet an impending deadline fills the room of this Milwaukee office. Victor Huyke is tucked away inside the El Conquistador office at 4531 W. Forest Home Ave. He's the publisher of the only Latino-owned newspaper in southeast Wisconsin.
“As you know, the Latino community has grown extensively, particularly in areas like Wisconsin, and we want to make sure our community is part of it. Not an excluded community sitting in the dark," Huyke said.
El Conquistador has been serving the Latino community in southeastern Wisconsin for more than 23 years.
“We covered a lot of things that basically the mass media was not covering, you know. It was local stuff. It just wasn’t important enough for the 10 o'clock news.”
The main goal is to inform the Latino community of the most important stories in the area.
“The idea is that just trying to get people to know more about our community. We do those stories in English and in Spanish.”
While the cover page is in Spanish, the front half of the newspaper is written in English. The back half of the paper is in Spanish.
"If the mass media had covered a particular subject that one we just did in Spanish, and part of it was that we felt if we did it in English, we were just kind of being redundant."
However, the mission goes deeper than just reporting on breaking news.
It covers birthdays, Quinceaneras, and positive stories in the community. It’s almost like a community bulletin in that sense.
“Conquistador is more than a newspaper. It's a member of the family.”
What's more, the paper shines a new light on the Latino community in Milwaukee and the city's south side. Victor wants to show off all the area has to offer.
"We have art. We have entertainers. We have attorneys. We have doctors. So we want people to understand and to see that our community has more than restaurant foods."
Beyond the news, El Conquistador hosts events like the Cinco De Mayo Festival, Puerto Rican Festival, and a wedding and Quinceanera show. Coming up on Oct. 30 is the Latino Family Expo. There will be free trick-or-treating for children and resources for adults like a home buying workshop, immigration seminar, and a job fair.
The goal of these types of events is to connect with the community and give back. It offers educational opportunities for families to learn how to improve their quality of life and in turn improve their community.
For Victor, the mission of El Conquistador is also his own personal mission.
"Why do I think that creating a newspaper was so important for my community? Because I live in it. I live in this community. I breathe in this community. You know, my kids live here, my grand kids live here."
Along with its website, you can find the newspaper in grocery stores like El Rey or doctors' offices. Around 15,000 copies are distributed around Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and Waukesha every week.
In an ever-changing media landscape, El Conquistador has remained successful. And it will keep serving the Wisconsin Latino community for as long as Victor and its reporters can keep on typing.