Interview with Los Sotelos, Edgar & Janet
by Olga Rosales Salinas
Hanging With Los Sotelos Podcast
One of the many blessings of having worked in Spanish language radio for so long was getting to meet people like Edgar and Janet. Edgar “Shoboy” of The Shoboy Show and his wife Janet host an informative and entertaining podcast called, Los Sotelos Podcast. They discuss topics important to the Latinx community and beyond. They talk about marriage, faith, and parenting in a way that is both engaging and informative. They joined us today for a discussion on the importance of giving back to the community. Find out who they are be inspired.
Who Are Los Sotelos?
Edgar and Janet Sotelo have been married for 9 years and have been blessed with amazing opportunities and adventures in San Francisco, Dallas, New York City and their current home of Los Angeles. Through faith, gratitude and humor they navigate through times while still enjoying life. Their podcast discusses the good, the bad and the funny together with you!
We’d like to start by thanking you immensely for supporting the Rosales Sisters’ Scholarship. We know that your stories and life experiences are powerful and we’re here for it! Can you start by telling us how you began your podcast? What was your inspiration?
It all began with wanting to share what we were going through— to fully expose our life and discuss relationship drama (yours and ours) and current events through an uplifting, fun and interactive podcast that will hopefully fill you with laughter, faith and encouragement.
What was your first show about? What did you learn about working together as a married couple?
Our first show was a very sensitive topic, since George Floyd’s death had just happened, and we wanted to make sure we brought awareness to children’s perceptions of race and diversity in a positive way.
Through this podcast, we gained an avenue to spend quality time with each other.
How long have you been married?
We have been happily married for 10 years! We got married in 2011 and now have 2 beautiful daughters, Ariela and Alani.
Janet, you’re from Watsonville—the heart and soul of the Rosales Sisters. What was growing up in Watsonville like for you?
Watsonville is a small town, home of the strawberry, and a place of hardworking families—primarily immigrants, just like my parents.
Growing up in Watsonville meant always having strawberries at home, since my parents worked in the strawberry fields for over 20 years. The strawberry fields were not only fields for my family, but they were also fields of hope: hope to prosper and to have a better future.
Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced going straight from high school to college? One of the biggest challenges for me (Janet) was adapting to being away from my close friends from high school. Thank God I found a program at Cabrillo College, PUENTE, which helped me meet great students who I could identify with. This program not only felt like a family, but it helped me get connected with other colleges and figure out what the next steps would be for my career.
Do you feel that that first-generation experience affects your marriage? Does it impact you positively? Negatively? How does it affect the way you move through the world as a married couple?
When we started dating, we knew that education was going to be a big part of our relationship and that eventually, our future kids were going to have to have a better education than ours.
We established the importance of education early on in our relationship. We actually had a scholarship, “Shoboy Beca,” for undocumented students when we lived in Dallas, TX. Because we are first-generation, we feel the need to invest in our community and have always loved supporting students and encouraging them to continue their education.
What are the biggest challenges you see facing the immigrant Latinx community?
Definitely some of the biggest challenges are not being exposed to all of the different grants and scholarships that are available. Information and recourses are key to leveling up - we hope can provide just that.
How does your podcast support the community?
Our podcast supports the community by providing a platform for (our community) voices to be heard. It is also an avenue to discuss issues that sometimes are taboo in the Latino community.
We also like to support the community by sharing our life experiences, lessons from our failures, and our victories to encourage, uplift and celebrate each other. To never forget that with faith in God, we are not alone, and we are a familia that will continue to strive to be better and stronger for ourselves, our generation, our culture, and our kids.
We also use our podcast platform to interview inspirational people and to highlight amazing nonprofits like the Rosales Sisters Scholarship (RSS), and TODEC, which supports immigrants and the children at the border. We’ve also done campaigns that help people become donors, like Be the Match which supports people in need of bone marrow transplants.
If you were to address the first-generation or immigrant students from the Central Coast, what would you say?
We would say that you have a special, unique gift—and that is that you come from some of the hardest working people on planet earth. Use that as an advantage in anything that you do. The work ethic that comes from your parents and their abuelitos is a beautiful thing about us immigrants. Remember to be proud of your roots and to always strive in everything that you do to make sure that your parents' sacrifices are not in vain, and that you don’t just represent yourself: you are worth so much more, you represent your familia. Your actions represent your generation and your culture, and those actions will have an amazing exponential impact in our community. Always know that you are worth it and never give up.
If you could address a potential RSS donor, what would you say?
We would say that you have an amazing opportunity to sow into this beautiful organization that has such a genuine, authentic, real desire to help the community. The Rosales Sisters see themselves in this community. They are a product of this community, so their passion and their endless efforts to be able to help and support it are going to make your donation go extremely far.
If you would like to join us by donating to the Rosales Sisters' Scholarship, please do so here. Thank you for reading, donating and for helping us positively impact the lives of first-generation or immigrant students from the central coast.