El Leñador has been publishing monthly bilingual stories for Humboldt State University since 2013. El Leñador has given a voice for the people whose voices are never heard, and its staff has been carrying on that drive to serve the community for five years.
Diana Borman and Caroline Moira are students at HSU and read El Leñador in their spare time.
“It gives a platform for Latino and Hispanic voices to be heard,” Moira said. “It also gives voices to people of color in general, which is something that is needed in this time we are living,” Borman said.
April 19 marked El Leñador’s fifth anniversary. To celebrate, they offered free food and a place to hang out and learn the progress that El Leñador has made over the years.
Hector Arzate is the current editor-in-chief.
“I never imagined being involved in El Leñador,” Arzate said. “I went into the publication voluntarily, but it led to me overseeing the bilingual newspaper.”
Many were in attendance of the celebration. Some were even former editors of El Leñador.
Sam Armanino was a photo editor for El Leñador in 2016. He is now working as social media coordinator for the North Coast Journal.
“There is a lot of room for creativity in a student-run publication,” Armanino said. “Working for El Leñador was a great experience.”
Another editor from El Leñador who attended the event was Carmen Peña-Gutiérrez. She was editor-in-chief of the newspaper in fall 2017 and is now working as workshop organizer for the Check-It program.
“I’m very happy to see that El Leñador has grown to become a news source for people,” Peña-Gutiérrez said. “What helped me write stories for El Leñador was helping the community that is underrepresented be heard.”
Meg Bezak was announced to be the next editor-in-chief of El Leñador for fall 2018.
“I’ve had two years of involvement in El Leñador,” Bezak said. “I fell in love with El Leñador. The staff has been exceptional and supporting.”
El Leñador’s advisor, Andrea Juarez, has been involved with the newspaper since 2015.
“The goal of this newspaper is to allow students to tell the stories they want to share,” Juarez said. “The students who write for El Leñador are getting experience for their careers.”
In the future, one of the changes El Leñador wants to make is to create more multimedia content for their website, as well as expanding their staff. One thing that won’t change for El Leñador is providing stories for the community.
“This job has a lot of big shoes to fill,” Arzate said.