The closure of El Centinela is sad news. A publication that has been the voice of Hispanic immigrants for these 27 years is coming to an end. The voice of a community that has given life to this part of the country with its traditions and culture is going to be quieted. This vibrant community has enriched the Catholic Church, and this Spanish-language publication has been a continuous expression of a reality that is impossible to ignore.

For 20 years, I had the privilege of being editor of El Centinela.

I spent all those years writing stories in Spanish for our readers, faithful people who now will not receive our monthly issues. A very important cycle comes to an end, because we have been writing the history of a community that is seeking to make its way in this country. It’s the history of an immigrant community that makes a presence with its tradition, culture and diversity, a community that shows us infinite value, if we look beyond borders.

El Centinela opened a constant channel of communication with immigrants from around Oregon. As editor, I tried to convey the feelings and challenges they face every day. Their stories changed my life. I have learned with each testimony. I have lived their experiences and El Centinela made them known in each of its pages. During these years we evolved as a publication and reached this moment in which social media channels are vital in the exercise of information. Each printed page keeps the history firmly. By contrast, social networks are ephemeral. Those voices of immigrants will remain in these pages, which today go down in history.

It fills me with satisfaction to know that hundreds of testimonies in El Centinela were shared with our sister publication, the Catholic Sentinel. We built a bridge of information, the voice of immigrants of faith in both English and Spanish. Those voices speak about struggle, sacrifice and hope.

Rios is former editor of El Centinela.