Minister launches Spanish program on MCTV
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Community Television (MCTV) viewers have for the past two decades been able to get a sampling of programming in French, through the locally produced “Chronique Francophone.”
Now the station is branching out into Spanish through a religious program offered by a pastor who has preached at Baptist churches in Starksboro, Middlebury and Huntington.
“Las Promesas de Dios” is the brainchild of the Rev. Ramona Guadalupe, a licensed minister with the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire. Her 30-minute weekly program, which first began airing on MCTV in June, is designed to offer an inspirational message and helpful tips to Spanish and English speakers alike. Half of each program is typically offered in Spanish and the other half in English.
“It’s like comfort food,” she said of her program, shot in Middlebury. “When things seem hopeless, I give (the viewers) hope.”
Guadalupe hails from Puerto Rico and has lived in the Green Mountain State for the past 19 years. She has served as a community chaplain at Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington and preached at several Baptist churches in Addison County. She is waiting for a permanent church assignment through the American Baptist Churches.
In the meantime, she has developed “Las Promesas de Dios” as a vehicle to not only impart a spiritual message, but also to put disadvantaged people in touch with programs and resources to make their lives easier.
“I want to be a stepping stone for the Latino community in Vermont,” Guadalupe said.
It’s a community that continues to grow, she noted. Middlebury College, with its reputation for language instruction, continues to bring many Hispanic students and teachers to Addison County. The area is also home to many migrant farm workers, primarily from Mexico, who Guadalupe believes could tap into her MCTV program through computers. She added Northlands Job Corps in Vergennes routinely serves several Latino students.
“It is important for them to hear someone speak their language,” Guadalupe said.
She’s used her first few programs to introduce herself to the community. In the future, she’d like to bring on guests and potentially expand “Las Promesas de Dios” to an hour.
The program is now in a database of community access programming that is shared between stations statewide. That means “Las Promesas to Dios” could be in the programming rotation of all community cable markets in Vermont, including Burlington and St. Albans.
MCTV Executive Director Dick Thodal said Guadalupe’s program has been a good addition to the station’s roster.
“It’s been great,” he said. “She has a dynamic presentation.”
It’s a show that could broaden the station’s audience, he said.
“We want to reach out to the entire community,” Thodal said.
A list of airing times for “La Promesas to Dios” and other MCTV programming can be found at middleburycommunitytv.org.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].