Latino USA

Archive for 2010

Girl in a Coma

Maria sits down with the three musicians that make up Girl in a Coma to talk about their influences and their growing-up in Texas.


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Remembering Selena

We remember Selena, 15 years after her death.


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Small Immigrant Businesses Have A Big Impact

You might be tempted to discount the economic impact of immigrant-owned Mom & Pop businesses, but—as we hear in this report from Karina Salazar—the chain of employment they create makes them a significant source of job creation, even in a large market like New York City.


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This report comes to us from the “Beyond the Border” project at the University of Arizona, in association with NAHJ: The National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Monica Ortiz Uribe served as Karina Salazar’s mentor.

A Chicana at the Top of the World

Roxy Cruz de Hoyos was born and raised in East Los Angeles. In a predominantly Latino high school, she always stood out as fair-skinned. At Pitzer College, she appeared tan. And now, in the remote Himalayan villages of Nepal, Roxy is even told she looks Nepali! She’s studying the agriculture of Nepal, and finding out first hand just how much work goes into the food that humans eat. Reese Erlich brings us her story.


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La Posada

La Posada—the Mexican Christmas procession recreating the Holy Family’s attempt to find shelter before Jesus was born—is a cherished tradition for many Latino families. It has deep religious roots, and deep resonance with current events: a story of temporary homelessness, and journey, and searching for a place of welcome at a time of great need.

Listen as Maria Hinojosa finds out what a Posada is like in chilly New York City in this piece produced by Nusha Balyan.


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Julián and Rosie Castro: Intergenerational Political Action in San Antonio

Quick—name a political family from Texas!

The first one that comes to many folks’ minds is probably “Bush.” (Even though, as is often overlooked, they’re originally from Connecticut.) If you ask that question on the ground in Texas, specifically in San Antonio, the political family likely to be named is “Castro.” Joaquín Castro is a member of the Texas State Legislature. Rosie Castro was a member of the Latino third party La Raza Unida and has been a political activist for decades. Rosie’s son (and Joaquín’s twin brother) Julián Castro is the Mayor of San Antonio, the youngest in the city’s history. Julián is seen as part of a third wave of Latino politicians in the U.S. We interviewed Julián and Rosie to find out what motivates his work and how Latino politics of the past have affected him. We also spoke with Henry Flores, a Professor of Political Science at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, about why Julian Castro is a significant figure in modern politics.


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Listen to NPR’s All Things Considered this weekend for Maria’s profile of Julián Castro, whom some say represents a third-wave of Latino political leadership. He talks about his mom’s influence, and his responsibility to represent Latino interests as well as the rest of the people of San Antonio. Check your local station for broadcast times in your area.

WEB EXTRA: WikiLeaks & Latin America

The controversy over the website WikiLeaks has been broiling steadily for months, but with the recent release of confidential U.S. State Department diplomatic cables, things seems to have reached a peak of furor on both sides of the issue. The information made public–a mix of damaging behind-the-scenes machinations, sometimes catty descriptions of world leaders, and behavior of diplomats that some view as ethically questionable–has affected governments the world over. Additionally, the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on charges of sexual improprieties further contributes to the furious debate.

Some of the cables address the U.S.’s often tenuous relationship with our Latin American neighbors. The cables give an insight into how the U.S. shapes foreign policy with Latin America, and what challenges the State Department faces when working with our neighbors to the South. Emilene Martinez Morales works for the Mexico Project at the National Security Archive in Washington, D.C. She spoke with us about the impact of WikiLeaks massive document release on U.S.-Latin American relations.


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Dolores Huerta & DREAM Activist Lucy Martinez

The DREAM Act — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — received its first-ever vote in the U.S. of House of Representatives: and it passed. The measure faced a Republican filibuster in the Senate, and Democrats tabled it.

Thousands of student activists across the country have been advocating for its passage, often through acts of civil disobedience and non-violent protest. What’s clear, no matter the legislative outcome during this lame duck session of Congress, is that lots of young people have been politicized by this particular struggle.

We wanted to put one of those young activists together with a veteran organizer, someone who has more than her share of victories and defeats under her belt: Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers.

Maria invited the two women to talk about the next steps for the DREAMERS.


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A Latino USA Roundtable: Latinos and the Political Process

We’ve examined the rising importance of Latino candidates and voters in America, with an eye toward this year’s midterm elections. Now that the election has passed, we decided to narrow our focus a bit more and look at how Latinos can become a driving force in the politicial process, and how the Latino community can make its own voice heard instead of relying on others to relay the message.

Earlier this year, we interviewed longtime activist Rosie Castro in Texas. On this week’s program, we hear a bit of her interview with Maria Hinojosa. Latino USA also brought together three extremely bright minds to discuss the issues: Kai Wright, an editor at ColorLines Magazine, Lydia Camarillo, Vice President of the Southwest Voter Education Registration Project, and Luis Fraga, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington.

Their extended interview (presented here) lasts nearly an hour; a shorter version, edited to meet our broadcast requirements, can be heard using the audio player in the top right corner of this page.


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UTSA Students Demand Senator’s Attention

BREAKING: Reports of fifteen DREAM Activists arrested outside Sen. Bailey Hutchison’s office. Read about it at WOAI San Antonio.

UPDATE: Over 40 students at other University of Texas campuses–Austin, Dallas, Brownsville, and Pan Am–are joining in the hunger strike. You can read more here.

In San Antonio this week, students with DREAM Act Now! at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) gathered at the University’s Sombrilla Plaza and vowed to fast until Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson threw her support behind the DREAM Act.

The legislation, a version of which stalled in the Senate earlier this year, would provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented students.

Pamela Resendiz, a political science major at UTSA, spoke with Maria about this week’s action.


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