Latino USA

Archive for November, 2009

Latino Perceptions of Muslims

In the wake of the shootings at Ft. Hood, Texas earlier this month, there has been considerable discussion about the alleged shooter’s Islamic faith in playing something of a role in the murders. There are many unanswered questions about the shootings. Latino USA’s student producer Xorge Oliveras went to the streets in Austin, Texas to ask Latinos if the events shaped their perceptions of Muslims.


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Israel’s Undocumented Latinos

When thousands of Latin American immigrants left their homelands throughout the 1990s in search of opportunity, the U.S. was not the only country recruiting this cheap labor. Many European countries sought Latin American workers. And thousands of immigrants also ended up in the state of Israel. As Israeli politicians seek to deal with their immigrant “problem” in light of the economic times, the children of these Latin American immigrants could be deported.

Independent Producer Reese Erlich found that many of these non-Jewish young people now share a strong Israeli identity, with little memory of a Latin American homeland.


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Una Cosa Personal

The Ft. Hood shootings left psychological scars that spilled over into the national psyche, as Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa observes.


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Community Gardens in Cincinnati

The traditional fall harvest is always a boon to local farmers markets. But at Cincinnati’s Findlay Market, the season has something of a twist. In an effort to meet the growing demand for locally grown produce, the Findlay Market received a USDA grant to help create the Cultivating Healthy Entrepreneurs and Farmers (CHEF) program. The program helps turn urban lots and empty city spaces into community gardens. And this season was the first fall where these farmers sold their goods at the farmers market.

Earlier this summer, local producer Daniel Denvir caught up with some of these urban farmers and sent this report.


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Watch a slideshow as you listen:

Cincinnati’s Community Gardens from NPR's Latino USA on Vimeo.


StoryCorps Historias

All across the country many Latino families will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. While many ethnic communities have various forms of the tradition, the American version of Thanksgiving is uniquely a nationalistic celebration.

FERNANDEZ FAMILY
This week, StoryCorps Historias brings the story of one family’s first Thanksgiving meal. 

Jose Fernandez came to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1960s. He was a teenager when his family arrived in Florida. And here, from our StoryCorps booth in New York, he tells his wife, Teresita, about that first November.


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DIAZ FAMILY
Now another story about sharing a meal. 

It comes from Julio Diaz, a social worker from the Bronx. 

Every night diaz ends his hour-long subway commute one stop early just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

 But one night as he stepped off the train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.


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CARRANZA FAMILY
When he was a poor kid, Adolph Carranza remembers how donations from the Salvation Army would come around the holidays. Among the exotic canned goods he recalls was this strange jelly-like substance called “cranberries” that no one wanted to try in his household.


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Last year StoryCorps launched a new holiday tradition — it’s called the National Day of Listening, which happens on the day after Thanksgiving. StoryCorps encourages you to take an hour on that day to sit down with a relative or loved one and ask them about their life. 
 
StoryCorps has do-it-yourself materials to help you get a great interview and preserve it for your family — and they’re available for free online.

New American Voices: Mental Health and Refugees

Latino USA has often documented how immigrants coming from a particular community tend to migrate to the same region in the U.S. as a means of creating a safe social net. But refugees represent a different kind of immigration experience. And for refugees who have experienced war and violence, the mental health issues of that community can pose particular challenges.

When the U.S. accepts refugees, it is often the practice to resettle them together within an American city or community. So when many Somali immigrants in Minneapolis began showing signs of mental health trauma due to war, it caught local health officials by surprise. As part of Latino USA’s ongoing New American Voices series, Andrew Stelzer reports on how Minneapolis mental health workers are using media to help deal with the challenges.


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New Routes – Abriendo las Cajas

New Routes to Community Health seeks to improve the health of immigrants through immigrant-created media. Eight immigrant-led collaborations across the United States have received three-year grants from New Routes to create locally-focused media and outreach campaigns that speak directly to immigrants’ health concerns. Grants have been given to collaborations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St Paul, Oakland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

In these communities, immigrant groups, media makers and prominent community institutions work together to produce original content in English as well as in immigrants’ first languages, including Amharic, Chinese, Creole, French, Lao, Somali, Spanish, Swahili and Vietnamese. New Routes to Community Health is grounded in the belief that everyone in society benefits when immigrants get help to live healthy, productive lives. Integrating immigrants into work and social life is key to building healthy communities.

CLICK HERE to see all New Routes project productions.

Conductor Alondra de la Parra

Alondra de la Parra is the founder and artistic director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (POA) based in New York. Originally from Mexico, De la Parra founded the POA as a means of promoting music and young talent. While largely focused on Latin American works and audiences, POA seeks to diversify classical music and bring it closer and “relevant” to the people.

Reporter Monica Ortiz Uribe recently caught up with Alondra de la Parra fresh from a Dia de los Muertos concert in San Francisco.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Watch a slideshow as you listen.

Multi-Latin Grammy Winner Calle 13

Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 were the big winners at the 10th Annual Latin Grammy Awards, celebrated November 5 in Las Vegas and hosted by actress/singer Lucero and actor/comedian Eugenio Derbez. Calle 13’s René Pérez (aka Residente) and Eduardo Cabra (aka Visitante) swept their five nominations, taking home Record and Album Of The Year, Best Urban Music Album, Best Alternative Song, and Best Short Form Music Video.

Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa, known as the Voice of Latin America not only for her artistry but her championing of social causes, passed away Oct. 4. Her last album, Cantora 1 won two Latin Grammy awards including Best Folk Album.

Calle 13′s Pérez, known for his irreverent attitude, made perhaps the evening’s most touching gesture in calling onstage Sosa’s producer/musical director Popi Spatocco to hand him the Album Of The Year statuette. Pérez participated in Cantora 1, which had also been nominated in the Album Of The Year category, but lost to Calle 13′s Los De Atrás Vienen Conmigo.


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From Patchogue, LI to Gualeceo, Ecuador

Patchogue is located in New York’s Long Island. The village has been in the news lately, but not in a good way. Reports of local teens “hunting” Latino immigrants and roughing them up in recent years surfaced. This harassment of immigrants eventually resulted in the death of local resident Marcelo Lucero at the hands of several White teenagers.

On November 5, one of those teens, Nicholas Hausch, pled guilty to four charges stemming from his role in the attack that killed Lucero. Hausch agreed to testify against the other six defendants in exchange for leniency. He now faces the next 5 to 25 years in prison.

Recently, WSHU radio producer and reporter Charles Lane decided to go beyond the headlines and take a closer look at the Latino immigrant community in Patchogue. What he found was an Ecuadoran community that had strong ties to its home base.

Lane traveled to Gualeceo, Ecuador and saw the economic prosperity that having remittances from North America bring to this community. Despite the economic benefits, however, families often are torn apart.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

UPDATE: Charles Lane’s (WSHU) reporting from Gualeceo won a 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage. ¡Enhorabuena!

Watch a slideshow from Gualeceo, Ecuador produced by Charles Lane.

A 3,000 Mile Bridge from NPR's Latino USA on Vimeo.

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