El Paracaidista (The Parachutist), a free Spanish-language monthly distributed to new immigrants and Hispanic residents of Southern Florida, provides useful, informative content intended to help Spanish-speakers take advantage of local resources and better understand how things work in the U.S. Service-oriented papers that are part guidebook, part directory are cropping up in other parts of the country as well. Somos Padres (bimonthly, circ. 25,000), a bilingual parenting resource for Hispanic parents living in New York City, provides a similar service. A growing number of Spanish-language Yellow Page publishers also provide services and listings.
El Paracaidista was launched four years ago by journalists Ira Guevara and Cynthia Zak. The 20,000 circulation independently owned publication is distributed in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties primarily at supermarkets, consulates, hospitals/clinics, public libraries and schools, community centers and other strategic locations. El Paracaidista is also available by subscription for $29/year. The “orientation guide” targets Spanish speakers 18-65 with varied educational and economic backgrounds. Carlos Patrizzi, director of advertising sales, says most of the paper's advertisers are local businesses, including some big clients like the University of Miami and Miami-Dade College. “We're pursuing national advertisers, but it's difficult because most of them go through agencies which are usually more conservative and tend to stick with the same media channels.” El Paracaidista is currently in discussions with larger publications in other U.S. cities who are considering distributing local editions of the monthly guide inside their publications. Patrizzi could not give specific details, but said this was part of the paper’s long term expansion plan.