While listeners to La Mera Buena 107.5 FM might not know Mary Bello’s face, they certainly know her voice.
The Chaska resident, who has worked in radio for the last 28 years, spends her mornings as the on-air personality for the Latino station.
The Herald asked Bello a few questions about her job and the importance of the station to the region’s Hispanic community.
Q. What is your job at La Mera Buena 107.5 FM?
A. That is a very good question..where to start? I have many hats that I wear each day such as on-air personality, program director and sales, but I do my job with a passion for the community.
Q. What is a typical day like at the radio station?
A. I arrive around 5:20 a.m. each morning, I prepare my news by checking the traffic and weather. I go over my agenda for the interviews on my show that has to be done by 6 a.m. From 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. I am live on the radio and I try to stay connected with the Latino community and the English speaking community as well.
Q. How did you get your start in radio? How long have you worked in radio?
A. Since the age of 9 years old, I always had a passion for interviewing my family members like my cousins Maxi, Rafa, Hector, Gaudencio and Jorge. My grandfather Alberto Bello Garcia, who was in the Mexican Revolutionary War, would share with me about his experience in the war.
When I finished high school, I had a great opportunity to meet Professor Raul Molina Romero who was the owner of a radio station called X.E.B.E. Radio Perote in Mexico. He invited me to work for his radio station and since that day I haven’t stopped working. Now, I am going on 28 years working on the radio business. I studied Communications and Accounting from Unidad de Radio y TV Educativa in México City and Universidad Valle de Perote, Veracruz.
Q. What do you like most about working in radio?
A. Besides choosing the selection of music, I also enjoy interviewing people like politicians, athletes, singers and community members. One of my great pleasures is to make sure that community members have a voice and are being heard on the La Mera Buena.
Q. You were born in Perote, Veracruz, Mexico. Why did you move to Minnesota? How long have you lived in Chaska?
A. It was my dream to come the U.S. and by the grace of God I was able to. I met my husband Leo Alvarez at a community outreach event where I was doing a live feed. After couple months of dating, Leo convinced me to move to Chaska. We got married at the Chaska Moravian Church in 2007 and have been living [in Chaska] for 7 years.
Q. What are the differences between radio broadcasting in Mexico and radio broadcasting in Minnesota?
A. One is the diversity of cultures of the Latino communities — for example you have Mexicans, Ecuadorians, etc. You have to include each Latino community. I have noticed that there are some young Latino community members that want to hear hip hop, rock, salsa and other genres. Other community members want to hear local news, music and are looking for opportunities to connect with their community. Mexican radio is more focused on traditional folk music and cultures within Mexican states such as art, traditional foods.
Q. How important is La Mera Buena 107.5FM to the Twin Cities’ Latino community?
A. For more 10 years La Mera Buena 107.5FM has had a connection with institutions and organizations, informing and educating the Latino community to help build vibrant healthy Latino communities.
Our goal is to continuously be the best Latino radio station in the Twins Cities with 49,000 watts of power that reaches all the communities in Minnesota, northern Iowa and eastern Wisconsin.
Q. What is your favorite song on the playlist currently?
A. My favorite song that I love to hear and gets me dancing is Enrique Iglesias “Bailando.”
Q. Who have been your favorite people to interview?
A. Some of my favorites are the Spanish singer Dyango, the Argentinean singer King Clave and the famous singer Pitbull.
Q. What are your activities outside of the radio station?
A. I am in school currently to perfect my English. I enjoy my time with my family and friends, being outside playing sports with my family and the best part is going to the Moravian Church on Sundays.
I also have my personal radio online that I have been running since 2012 called the La Nueva Joya, www.lanuevajoya.com, “La Radio con Sentimiento” (radio with feeling).