Friends, family remember Charlotte journalist for the ‘passion and love’ in her stories

·2 min read

A longtime journalist and editor of one of Charlotte’s Spanish-language newspapers has passed away after a nearly two-year fight with cancer.

Mayra Arteaga Guevara died in Boston on Monday. She was 49.

Arteaga had been diagnosed with Stage 4 renal cancer in August 2019.

She started as a reporter at Charlotte-based Hola News in 2010 and became its editor five years later.

“She taught me the importance of belonging, of writing convinced in what she said,” former colleague Judith Barriga said in an email to the Observer. “In the worst moments, she was the voice that lifted me up and pushed me forward. Her sincerity was the basis of our friendship.”

Arteaga started her journalism career in her native El Salvador, according to her obituary. She fell in love with people’s stories, her daughter said.

“Growing up, we loved listening to her tell stories of the people she met through her line of work,” Stefanía Arteaga wrote on a GoFundMe page for the family. “Not just because they were fascinating but because of the passion and love she used to tell every one of them.”

Arteaga spent many years as a journalist in El Salvador until she moved to the Boston area in the early 2000s. There, she contributed to El Latino Expreso as a freelance writer.

Hola News designer Jessy Andrade considered Arteaga her second mother.

“We laughed, we talked, she told us her stories,” Andrade told the Observer in an email. “I will remember her making her corrections with a red pen in the days of the edition closing.”

Arteaga is survived by her husband, John Rabon; her children Stefanía, Juan José and Matthew; and her parents and siblings.

The GoFundMe page to offset hospice and funeral expenses reached its $20,000 goal Friday. Any additional donations will be used for college expenses for Arteaga’s children.

A celebration of life will be held in Middleton, Mass., on Saturday afternoon, with plans for a Charlotte celebration to be announced at a later date.

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