A little-known Lafayette civic group, Proyecto Hispano de Ayuda a la Comunidad — roughly translated as Hispanic Project to Help the Community — will break ground Thursday in north Lafayette on a tower for a planned Spanish-language radio station that will begin broadcasting in the next couple of months.
Fernando Perez-Viart, executive director for the group founded in 2010, says the format of KECS — the call letters stand for Educational, Cultural and Social — will be a mixture of music, talk and community conversation with an eye toward helping Lafayette’s burgeoning Hispanic population integrate into the community.
“It will be information about what’s going on in our city, how to conduct things in order to be successful here in the United States,” he says, or as press material emailed to The IND by Perez-Viart indicate, “to broadcast a variety of programs in Spanish language to maintain well informed our Hispanic community in various aspects: Socio-cultural, politics and economics of the U.S, the state and our city. The radio will allow us to inform, educate and entertain the families in our community; and prepare them for their integration into American society, while we keep our language and Latin culture.”
The radio tower will be erected at 1006 Surrey St. KECS, Perez-Viart says, will be a low-power station with an approximate 10-mile broadcast radius — just enough wattage to reach most of the 2010 Census-estimated 10,000 Hispanic residents in Lafayette Parish. Lafayette-based MidSouth Bank donated $5,000 to help jump-start the project.
Latino pastors at the city’s eight Spanish-language churches have been making their congregations aware of the station, Perez-Viart adds. Once the station is broadcasting it can be found at 94.9 on the FM dial.
More information about Proyecto Hispano can be found at the group's website.