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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Children of the Exodus

In the debate over immigration, we most often hear about parents who are deported without their children. But what about the opposite–children who are deported without their parents, apprehended while trying to cross the border and sent back to Mexico alone? Melissa del Bosque of the Texas Observer investigated what becomes of these Children of the Exodus, and she shared some of her findings with us.


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A Story About Gratitude & Family

Writer Julia Alvarez lives in Vermont, a state with a rich history of rural life. Spend any time on a family-owned farm, though, and you begin to realize just how difficult the work is, and how thin the margin is between success and failure.

A family-owned dairy farm is the setting for the novel Return To Sender. It tells the story of Tyler, an eleven year old boy with a passion for astronomy and his growing friendship with the children of Mexican farmworkers who labor on his family’s farm.

It’s a story about family, and the land, and borders, and gratitude — and we thought it was an excellent story to bring you on this holiday weekend.

Among several other awards, Return To Sender is the recipient of the 2010 Pura Belpré Award, presented by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. It is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library and it is presented each year to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator who best portray, affirm, and celebrate Latino cultural experiences in outstanding works of literature for children and youth.

Latino Media Today

On this week’s program, we look at Latinos and the media: particularly, television. The Latino audience is a force to be reckoned with in the United States. Content produced for Latinos, both in Spanish and in English, is widespread–and hugely profitable. Recently, the Nielsen company reported that Univision is the most popular television network — that’s any network — for viewers 18-49 years old.

The programming on Univision runs the gamut from the serious, to the sensual, to the silly: Noticiero Univision, the network’s evening newscast, airs weeknights with anchor Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas. The network’s telenovelas include Soy tu dueña and Eva Luna, among many others. And no Saturday evening would be complete without an appearance by the master showman Don Francisco, longtime host of Sábado Gigante.

To examine the role that Latinos play in the media, and how the media has a role in communities throughout the United States and Latin America, we turn first to the University of Texas at Austin’s America Rodriguez.


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Another perspective on Latinos and television comes from Flavio Morales at Mun2 [pronounced: mun-dos]. It is a hugely popular music and entertainment channel aimed at young Latinos. One of the most interesting things about the channel is that its hosts are continuously engaged in a complicated dance of code-switching, bouncing back and forth between English and Spanish within a single sentence. The rapid-fire Spanglish, and the channel’s tone and content, mirror the interests and behaviors of young Latinos.


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New Immigrant Media in Los Angeles

In California, one group is trying to bridge the divide between working-class Latinos and technology. The project, called “Voces Móviles” or “Voz Mob” lets Latinos tell their story through mobile devices. Reporter Marcos Najera has more.


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Dia de los Muertos Mass

While some might see Dia de los Muertos as a morbid celebration, it’s usually just the opposite. But one Day of the Dead mass at the Mexico-New Mexico border does have a very somber purpose. The service, held in Anapara, New Mexico (near El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico), is a remembrance of those who have died trying to cross illegally into the United States. Reporter Mónica Ortiz Uribe takes us there.


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