LATINO magazine was the outgrowth of 2 previous Hispanic publications, all of them operated by José Peña. A graduate of Lincoln-West High School, Peña purchased a struggling tabloid named El Sol soon after its debut in 1972. Publishing at first out of his house on W. 38th St., Peña nursed it into a weekly of 8-16 pages and 3,000 circulation before it ceased publication in Aug. 1976. Peña introduced a second Spanish-language weekly, Echoes de Cleveland, in Aug. 1979.
Published at 2144 W. 25th St., the 24-to-32-page tabloid had a full-time staff of 5 and a circulation of 5,000. Down to 12 pages in size, its last number was issued in May 1981. Latino appeared in Aug. 1981, assuming a monthly magazine format of from 16-62 pages. Although its 5,000 readers were concentrated in northeastern Ohio, it achieved statewide circulation as Ohio's only Hispanic publication. It was edited by Peña from offices on W. 25th St. before moving to the Terminal Tower. Steering away from political endorsements, Latino continued to publish on a month-to-month basis until rising costs led to its demise in 1987. Since then 2 other Hispanic publications have made an appearance in Cleveland: Ohio Boricua, a monthly, published from 1990-92, and El Nuevo Dia, begun in 1989, still extant in 1993.