Meet José Antonio, the voice of “Market Radio,” a small radio station located inside a local market in El Salvador.
“I do everything here,” he said. “I play the music; I also do radio spots. I use the computer and I sell products.”
It’s the first market of its kind in the area, with an in-house radio station promoting goods of vendors who have shops and stalls there. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can hear José Antonio over the loud speakers, playing music from the 80s and 90s, and advertising low prices on products.
He charges clients a flat rate per month to run their commercials five times a day and has four consistent clients. None of the advertisements come prerecorded, so José Antonio either does them live or prerecords them himself. He’s certainly a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to running his business.
The computer has become a vital part of José Antonio’s business, but when he first started out he didn’t have the knowledge needed to use one. Using a computer seems like second nature in our technological world, but for many, it isn’t as easy as it seems.
At 54, a lack of experience with computers wasn’t José Antonio’s biggest challenge. He had to work around the fact that he can’t see.
“Before, I worked as a shoemaker, selling newspapers, doing craftwork and making furniture,” José Antonio said. “When I started working on this [radio station], I had never used a computer. When I started this, I had two speakers, a Discman, DVD player and an audio amplifier.
“People saw potential in me and started supporting me. … Through hard work I learned how to use a computer.”
He’s able to conduct business at the market using special software that reads what’s on the screen. The software is called Job Access with Speech or JAWS. The JAWS software allows people with low vision or blindness to use a computer without the assistance of someone else.
It’s his internal drive that pushes José Antonio to want good things for his three children.
“As a parent, I will do my best to educate my children to be good people, so when they grow up they will make good decisions,” he said.
The family leads a humble life, living in a modest home that has electricity but no running water. Though José Antonio works at the market and teaches Braille on weekends, he struggles to cover his family’s daily expenses.
This struggle is the reason he spoke with Unbound’s staff in El Salvador about a sponsorship for one of his children. At the time of this interview, his youngest son, Josue, was waiting to be sponsored.
“I would like for my child to be sponsored,” José Antonio said. “First of all, it will be a benefit because sometimes … well, sometimes I would like to do my best for my children. Sometimes I can’t. I feel I’m fighting, but I never have good results. I feel relief when I receive my income, but it’s not enough for all I have to pay.
“[Our home] is a humble home. The walls are made of adobe and need improvements. I know that there are many things to do in my house, but my biggest concern is having money to buy food for my wife and children.”
José Antonio knows that through his son’s sponsorship, he will be better able to support his family and provide for their needs.
“If I had someone that would like to support me, someone who would say to me, ‘Here I am, I’m next to you,’ I will be endlessly grateful,” José Antonio said. “I would send to that person many blessings, because to be honest I don’t have words to describe how I would feel.”
Editor’s note: José Antonio’s prayers have been answered because now someone is saying, “Here I am, I’m next to you.” His son Josue was recently sponsored by Nancy from Florida.
Help parents like José Antonio send their children to school. Sponsor today.