Cross-Border Love Story Leads to Small Business in Wisconsin

Theirs is the age-old love story, right? The young man is a musician from Mission, Texas, with a record deal that requires promotion in Mexico. The young woman is a Mexican commerce official in the border city of Reynosa. He goes to her office to get a copyright. She handles his paperwork. Nine months later, they are engaged and move to . . . Wisconsin.

Although Lupita initially said “Where?”, she went along to Madison with Luis Montoto, who had been offered a good job as a regional supervisor for a cleaning company. That was in 1998. By 1999, the Montotos had married, opened their own cleaning business, and started Lupita on the road to U.S. citizenship. By 2000, they had launched the city’s first Spanish-language radio station, La Movida, and by 2002 had partnered with Mid-West Family Broadcasting to provide round-the-clock broadcasting.

“It was a huge need for the community,” says Lupita.

The station has hired three employees to help the pair. Lupita, who has a business degree from Atlantic University in Reynosa, takes care of sales and marketing and joins Luis on the air. Luis, the musician, handles programming. Both are heavily involved in community service, which they call their defining mission.

Businesses can benefit from the buying power that the Latino community has in South Wisconsin.

Working with agencies, individuals, government, businesses — “any local community,” says Lupita, “we never say no” — the Montotos strive to make connections, to inform, to include. They organize cultural festivals and fundraising radiothons; create events to honor the contributions of Dane County Latinos and non-Latinos alike; and host a weekday a.m. call-in show with guests: from community leaders — the mayor, the police chief — to the unsung hero who can be a positive role model.

“We’re not part of the community, we are the community,” Lupita says.

“We consider the station a bridge between the Latino community and local businesses and agencies,” says Luis, adding that, from a practical perspective, “Businesses can benefit from the buying power that the Latino community has in South Wisconsin.”

“We’ve been supported by many members of the community,” says Lupita. “Now, for the same reason, we are committed to give back.”

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New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…