La Movida Celebrates 10th Year as a 24/7
Hard Work and Love
|La Movida’s Ruben A. Barahona (l-r), Diego Campoverde, Tom Walker,
manager of Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Lupita Montoto, Luis Montoto
1990s when they met. Luis was a musician with longer hair than he has now and worked at a radio station in McAllen, Texas, just over
the border from Reynosa, Mexico.
Luis’ band was going to be doing some business in Mexico and so, he needed to secure the bands’ name with a copyright. Lupita had
recently graduated from college with a business degree and was in charge of copyrights and trademarks in the Mexican government
office in Reynosa where Luis was required to go.
“I registered his band. I helped Luis to trademark his band’s name,” Lupita recalled. “The day that we met on my job, it was my last day
because I was supposed to go on vacation for two weeks. So I told Luis what to do, told him about the fees and gave him the
application. I told him, ‘Next week when you come over to submit your application, you have to talk to one of my coworkers because I
will be on vacation.’ Luis said, ‘Can I have your home phone number so I can call you if I have any questions and things like that?’ I told
him, ‘Well you can call the office.’ He said, ‘But I would still like to talk to you, just in case I don’t understand something.’ I said, ‘Okay?’
And he started calling and he always asked questions after that. He had so many questions. During my two week vacation, we dated for
the first time. He was very persistent. That’s something that I’ve always told Luis about himself. He is a very persistent guy. If you tell
him something is impossible and don’t even try it, he will do it. He is very persistent and if he is focused on something that he wants to
achieve, he will do it.”
Nine months later, Luis and Lupita were married. They went to the Cancun area to see the Mayan pyramids, stopped to see her parents in
Mexico and were on their way to Wisconsin where Luis had secured a job. They basically arrived in Madison in a blue pick-up truck, a
couple of wedding gifts and their luggage.
“When we moved to the apartment, we had one of those foldable tables that you use for the side of the bed,” Luis recalled. “Someone left
a round stool and that is what Lupita used to sit on. I sat on a five-gallon upside down bucket. That was our dinner table.”
And Lupita wondered what she had gotten into.
“I was in shock,” Lupita said with a laugh. “I was working in a nice office in a professional job. I had just graduated from the university
with a business degree. Then I moved here and started going with Luis doing cleaning work and just walking around the whole store at
night behind him moving stuff around. I went, ‘Oh my gosh, this is every single night.’ We slept in the mornings and then during the day,
we had to do so many other things. Aside from that, I was crying because I was homesick and missed everyone. I was feeling lonely.
And then a couple of months later, the cold weather started. We didn’t have Facebook or the Internet or any social media. I had e-mail,
but it wasn’t a big thing. I would call my family 2-3 times per week. By Christmas, my mom came to see me and my sisters made
Christmas things for me. It was totally love that made me stay. That was the main thing.”
Like many other Latino immigrants to the Madison area, the Montotos relied upon Centro Guadalupe for assistance. They used its food
pantry. Lupita took ESL classes because she knew little English when she came. And Luis took computer classes because he had not
used a computer before coming to Madison.
As Luis and Lupita came and went from their South Madison apartment everyday, Luis had a daily reminder of his former life working at
the radio station in Texas for they passed by the Mid-West Family Broadcasting offices on Ski Lane. With the same determination that he
used to date and marry Lupita, Luis now decided that they would create Madison’s first Spanish-language radio station.
“I used to sit in our living room at the apartment and I would listen to every single station,” Luis said. “And I would write down and log
all of their commercial breaks and how many commercials they had per break. I would listen to them for hours and then I would change it
to the next station and I would do the same thing. I would see who was making money and whom I could approach initially. I just studied
the market. And whoever didn’t have sponsorship, I would approach them and they would want to make money. I called all of the
companies and most of them said no because there wasn’t enough of a Latino population in Madison.”
The Montotos were told many times, including by Mid-West Family Broadcasting, but eventually got their break with Magnum
Communications and WIBU 1240AM in Poynette. They were given a three-hour slot on Sundays and began their broadcasting careers as
By Jonathan Gramling
Lupita Montoto was washing dishes in the very modest
apartment that she and her husband Luis had settled in
since their arrival from Texas. The Montotos had set their
minds on establishing a Spanish language radio station in
Madison. Lupita toyed in her mind with different names as
she did the dishes and then it struck her. They would call the
station La Movida, The Move.
“La Movida has several different meanings,” Lupita said.
“It’s translated The Move. It was a perfect fit. We moved as
a couple from Mexico and Texas. When we dance, we
move. When someone has a significant other aside from the
wife, we call it La Movida. It also signified energy.”
La Movida definitely expresses the whirlwind life that the
Montotos lived to establish Madison’s first 24/7 Spanish-
language radio station. It takes the Monotos back to the late