The Desert Sun is making history. For the first time in 92 years they are collaborating with a mexican media outlet to present Spanish publications regarding immigrants fleeing from violence in Mexico. Omar Ornelas, a photojournalist with the newspaper, worked on this series and tells NBC Palm Springs it is a project he will never forget.
“They are kidnapped, they are assassinated, they are murdered, and they are cut into pieces.”
Omar is talking about real stories that are being told for the first time, in Spanish. This four part series covers a range of issues that are plaguing various areas in Mexico. Some of them being organized crime, the need for asylum, the process to get asylum, and how people are trying to survive in areas of extreme violence. This series was formerly published in English and now, with the partnership of Pulitzer Center and Animal Politco, will also be published in Spanish.
“It’s important for us to present this in their native language because the stories are told in Spanish and we wanted to report it in the language we heard it from,” Ornelas added.
Stories that will surely help transport readers to a country where people are fleeing violence to survive
“To imagine that your life could be that every day. To live that amount of stress, insecurity, and uncertainty is just something that I can’t imagine. I think the most difficult part for us while reporting, you know, was hearing the stories about people that are never able to recover their loved ones. There are many people that are disappeared and that don;t get a proper burial.”
Omar tell NBC Palm Springs that, in addition to being a collaboration that aims to bring awareness, it is also one that will help bridge a gap due to the language barrier.
“[We will] actually present a story that deals with two communities and I think that it can reach our English Speaking audience and our Spanish speaking audience here in the Coachella Valley.”
At this point, Omar is hopeful that this bilingual form of storytelling will thrive at The Desert Sun because of the big Hispanic population in the Coachella Valley.
“Many know that Spanish is here to stay in the Coachella Valley. It’s not going anywhere and it’s something that’s being underrepresented, and it’s going to be a success because it will show that people are actually interested in reading stories that are in their own language.”
The series will officially launch Thursday, May 16, 2019.