‘The Independent’ Is the Soul of Santa Barbara

Spanish Language School Owner Says the ‘Indy’ Is a Critical Lifeline to His Business

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Alonso Benavides

After living in New York and Wisconsin for my education and in Spain and Costa Rica for work, I decided to come to Santa Barbara to stay. The vibes, the weather, the geographic beauty, all drew me here. 

So, during the early ’90s, I found myself in an amazing town that had a variety of political tendencies (none extreme), an incredible environment, generous nonprofit agencies, prestigious educational institutions, and a cultural life that encompassed so much, including opera, film, theater, and festivals.

But I also wanted to really know Santa Barbara, not as a tourist, but as someone who needed to have a clear, historical, familiar picture of my new home. I needed to get in touch, as it were.  


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The Independent gave me that opportunity. I learned what was really happening — and, most important, what was not happening and ought to be happening. Its articles gave clear information about Santa Barbara’s politics, art, entertainment, crime, weddings, and deaths, all the flavor of the town. Add humor and a sense of civic responsibility, all written in direct, easy-to-understand language. 

When I would visit the Independent’s office, I found an informal atmosphere, with friendly people who seemed to really enjoy what they were doing: a true reflection of what I had already come to think about the paper. And the reason I was visiting was to schedule my advertisements for The Spanish Language Institute, advertisements that are a CRITICAL lifeline to my business. 

The Independent is the soul of Santa Barbara. It reveals its true character. Everybody reads the paper. Its influence goes beyond its size. It is a jewel of this town and needs to be treated as such. We all really need to contribute to its continued existence and success.


Every day, the staff of the Santa Barbara Independent works hard to sort out truth from rumor and keep you informed of what’s happening across the entire Santa Barbara community. Now there’s a way to directly enable these efforts. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.

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