Chris Echegaray is a staff reporter at The Tennessean who covers general assignments and breaking news. Here's how Echegaray describes his beat:
everything and anything in Nashville, including the story of a homeless man who beat a woman for handing him a cheeseburger, an accused serial rapist was auctioned off as an eligible bachelor, the death of Steve McNair, missing baby stories and a lot more.
Echegaray came to the Nashville daily three years ago this February, having previously worked at The Tampa Tribune, where he covered diversity, demographics and immigration. One of Echegaray's most interesting experiences as an immigration reporter in Florida was to travel to Mexico with a photographer in tow, on a bus filled with laborers – documented and undocumented - who were going home at the height of the immigration debate. The movie on the bus was “A Day Without a Mexican.”
Says Echegaray: "It was a looong ride."
Before Tampa, Echegaray was at the Worcester, Massachusetts Telegram & Gazette, where he started on the sports desk. Echegaray has also freelanced for the New York Daily News and various magazines, including US Weekly and Latina Magazine, where he wrote a cover story on Shakira. Echegaray has been a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Asian American Journalist Association.
Echegaray's hometown is New York City. He attended college at the University of Alaska, Anchorage and graduated with a B.A. from Springfield College.
Here's how Echegaray describes his Hispanic heritage:
I have a helluva mix but I claim my Dominican, Peruvian and Cuban peeps - but, yes, I still have colonial Spanish blood in my veins.
Can't deny my primo-hermanos who still live in Madrid. (It is cheaper to stay with family when in Europe) I lived in the Dominican for a bit when I was a child and we went back to New York,
Mi mama was born and raised en la Republica Dominicana. My grandfather moved the family to New York after the fall of Trujillo. He had been thrown in jail a couple of times for political reasons during the Trujillato. He didn't want to take a chance and have the dictator's people even some sort of score. My grandfather did not want to end up like some of his relatives involved in the fight against the dictator. He'd worked for American companies and that may have worked in his favor. He was one of the lucky ones that was able to politically maneuver in that dictatorship - even when the US occupied the island many years ago.
My old man is Cuban-Peruvian. I think we all know the story in Cuba.
This profile of Echegaray is the first in what will be a series of eight media profiles here on HispanicNashville.com. Among those profiled will be Charles Maldonado of the Nashville Scene and Nashville City Paper, Christine Maddela of WKRN/News2, and Ray Ponce de Leon of The Contributor.