Latino USA

Archive for November, 2010

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.


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

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.


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


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.


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

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.


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

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.


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

Day of the Dead: Luis Guerra

Another view on the Day of the Dead, and on fading traditions, comes from artist Luis Guerra. Take a listen to his commentary.


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Cross-Cultural Dia de los Muertos

The Mexican tradition of El Dia de los Muertos brings together the living and the dead every November. Elaborate holiday traditions all serve to honor and welcome the spirits of dead loved ones, who are believed to be back for a visit.

The tradition lives on among Mexican immigrants. And most fascinatingly, Dia de los Muertos has become a cross-cultural celebration in America. Listen as host Maria Hinojosa takes you on a journey, preparing to celebrate the Day of the Dead.


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

Watch Maria help students at her daughter’s school build Day of the Dead altars in this video produced by The Futuro Media Group’s Nusha Balyan.

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