Julio Duran

For some, the American Dream is the pursuit of opportunity. They believe that, with enough heart, ingenuity, and the right niche, success could be attained in the United States. One man that embodied the American Dream was Julio Duran. Duran, native to Tarija, Bolivia, migrated to the United States in 1971 in response to Hugo Banzer’s successful coup.[1] Duran had migrated  from his home country in order to escape repression and to find opportunity in the US. Once in Virginia, Duran recognized that Latin American news in American newspapers had been largely ignored. Duran knew that the Latino community–along with the country’s their families had come from–had many positives beyond earthquakes, political coups, and cocaine trafficking.[2] In response, Duran created Impacto during the fall of 1986. The newspaper was a Spanish-language monthly that provided services to more than 250,000 Latin Americans in the Washington, D.C. area.[3]

Duran put in 15-hour days so that Impacto could thriveThe paper talked about regional news, such as minority business opportunities, immigration laws, substance abuse, the Cold War arms race, and culture.[4] Duran had to overcome prevailing stereotypes while finding investors for the newspaper. He talked about having to bring his diploma around with him as he attempted to finance Impacto.[5] Like with many migrants, family was what kept the dream alive for Julio Duran. His wife, Beatriz, and daughters, Claudia and Cecilia, never let him quit even in the face of racism.[6]


Fig. 1. David Távara, 44 años después: un viaje de ida y vuelta. 2015, Colored Photograph, 2.04 X 2.33 inches.  El Tiempo Latino, http://eltiempolatino.com/news/2015/apr/20/veterano-periodista-retorna-su-patria-querida/ (accessed November 11, 2016).

In the pursuit for economic success, Julio Duran embraced the opportunity to create a newspaper that focused on issues that the Latino community wanted to read about. Duran had to face racism in his pursuits, as investors could not believe that a Hispanic man could be a writer, or a good one at that. Family has always been the support system for migrants in the United States, and Duran’s situation was no different. Hard work and determination led to Duran’s successful printing of the newspaper Impacto.

[1] Dianna Saenz, “Fledgling Va. Publisher Puts Out a Paper with Latin American Beat,” The Washington Post, December 11, 1986, accessed November 10, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1986/12/11/fledgling-va-publisher-puts-out-a-paper-with-latin-american-beat/6344a7f8-c047-4758-a935-769d7924046a/; Heather Benno, “Documents prove U.S. government involvement in 1971 Bolivia coup,” Liberation, July 10, 2010, accessed November 20, 2016, https://www.liberationnews.org/10-07-10-documents-prove-us-government-html/.

[2]Saenz, “Fledgling Va. Publisher Puts Out a Paper with Latin American Beat.”

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

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