Culture Near You is an online map of culture in Dublin. We’re constantly adding to this cultural map so we get to meet lots of the great people featured, and we thought you might like to meet them too!
For this blog series, we’re meeting the makers, the movers and shakers, the partakers, and the doers of the map - to find out more about what they do in the city. You can find out more about Culture Near You and how to get involved here.
Meet Silvia Bernal
Below, Silvia tells us about what listeners can expect from the show, what her role entails, and some favourite Radio Latina moments, including meeting some famous faces.
Tell us a bit about yourself, and what you do at Radio Latina?
My name is Silvia Bernal, I am from Bolivia and have been living in Ireland for about nine years. I came to Ireland to learn English, then I was studying IT and after a few years here I met my husband, a Scottish man and got married in 2018. So, we decided to stay in Ireland for work and settle down here.During my first years in Ireland I saw an ad from Near FM for radio training and I decided to get involved with community radio. Since then I have helped him to build the website and coordinate the production of the radio show.
Now, I am the General Producer of Radio Latina, and my job is to coordinate with the team of volunteers to produce, first a weekly show for Near FM 90.3, which broadcasts every Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm. And after that I coordinate the production of content for the Radio Latina website and social media.
How did Radio Latina en Dublin come about?
Radio Latina started six years ago with Hector, who is from Spain and who also did training with Near FM. He started the project as a talk show, after that we introduced more topics, sections and guests to the show.
Radio Latina has a team of volunteers from different countries like Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Mexico and Ireland. Most of them are residing in Ireland, and some of our volunteers are back in their home countries, but they are still sending sections and producing for Radio Latina, which is very important for us because the main aim for Radio Latina is to be the voice of Latino immigrants and communities in Ireland and to be a connection with our countries in Latin America.
What type of music can listeners expect to hear when they tune in?
Our listeners will listen especially to Latin music and in Spanish, from different types like pop, rock, classics, salsa, folk, reggaeton, and so on. There is a little bit from every country in Latin America and Spain. Our team of volunteers bring what they like and we try to support unsigned Latino musicians.
Do you have any stand out or favourite moments from your time at Radio Latina?
Yes. In collaboration with Latin American Solidarity Centre, we have produced a series of Podcasts called “Mujeres dignas y visibles”, which was a podcast (in Spanish) to help Latin American immigrant women to integrate in Ireland with information about the system and laws about health, work, visas, and so on.
A favorite moment would be, when we got free tickets for the concert of Enrique Iglesias in Dublin. We gave the tickets to the public and we got some for the team too, and we had the chance to meet the artist in person and take pictures with him. That was fun.
What do you enjoy most about working in radio?
The most enjoyable part of Radio Latina, I think, is meeting people from different countries and backgrounds. We interview people from Latin America, who are living in Ireland, people who are back in their countries, and we make new connections. And every person I meet has a story, or a project to tell about and that is very interesting.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Dublin?
I like to go for walks in the parks, I like all the green areas that Dublin has. I love Phoenix Park. And as I like dancing I try to get involved in dance classes, and Dance House was one of my favourite places to go before the pandemic. I also enjoy Culture Night every September in Dublin.
What are you most looking forward to at Radio Latina in the coming weeks and months?
I look forward to Radio Latina becoming a reference for all Latino communities in Ireland and that we will have more people involved in creating and producing for Radio Latina online.
If someone would like to get involved with Radio Latina, how can they do that?
If people like creating content, radio production, practicing their Spanish or would like to get involved with Latino American communities, Radio Latina would love to hear from them. People can get involved by contacting us at email@example.com.
Lastly, what has been your favourite or most surprising discovery on the Culture Near You map so far?
I have been browsing a little on the map, and I notice that there are a lot of options to get involved in arts and culture. During the pandemic most of things have been closed, but I love to find out more about activities around my neighbourhood. I think this tool is a great idea to find activities you might be interested in and to discover new ones close to you.