Archive for 2011

Los Tigres Del Norte

If you’ve never heard the music of Los Tigres Del Norte, chances are you’ve at least heard their name. The Norteño super group gained popularity among Mexican immigrants by giving them a voice through their songs. But their music has also defied musical boundaries, extending their influence beyond their frontera roots. In 2005, Brenda de Anda profiled Los Tigres Del Norte, and today, we bring you a re-airing of that piece.

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2012 According to the Ancient Mayans

In just two days, the calendar will jump to the year 2012. And while some people plan their year festivities, others worry of doomsday scenarios and point at the Mayan calendar’s ancient prophecies on the end of the world. Independent Producer Maria Martin reports from Guatemala, the land of the Maya, to see what people are saying about 2012.

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Recuerdos Navideños

For this week’s program, we turned to some of our friends to hear their memories of La Navidad; Christmas celebrations that were happy, sad, funny, and offbeat.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the materialism of the Christmas season. Playwright Josefina Lopez shares a story that’s a perfect reminder of why the toys and games and clothes aren’t really what matter.


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New Orleans-based performance artist José Torres-Tama recalls a pivotal moment… his family’s first Christmas as homeowners.


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Monica Teresa Ortiz has very fond memories of spending Christmas with her family in Texas. But there’s something that’s pulling them apart…and this year, Monica is spending the holiday away from her family. Find out why.


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The appearance of the Christ child is supposed to be the joyous occurrence that the Christmas season is all about. But one year, on Three Kings Day, the Baby Jesus ended up causing some trouble in Michele Serros‘s family.


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Nature, Magic & Girl Power

As part of our RadioNature series, we talk to renowned children’s book author, Jan Bozarth, about the unique themes so central to her “Fairy Godmother Academy” books — nature, magic and girl empowerment. Jan also shares her recollections of a visit to her mother’s home country of Cuba.


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The Haitian Immigrant Dilemma in the Dominican Republic

The countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic share 30,000 square miles that make up the Island of Hispanola. And although their histories have been intertwined since colonial times, there are also considerable differences – cultural, racial, linguistic, and economic. The Dominican Republic has had a stable democratic government and has the second largest economy in the Caribbean, while Haiti is still lacking a comprehensive governmental structure and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Their histories also share deep conflicts marked with blood. In the 1800s, Haiti occupied the Dominican Republic for decades. Then in 1937 nearly 30,000 Haitians were massacred on the border during the military dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.

But when a devastating earthquake shook Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Dominican Republic was one of the first countries to provide aid for their neighbor. Since then, thousands of Haitians have migrated to the Dominican Republic and many of them have been living there without documentation. Now, over a year later, the conflicts and cultural clashes have resurfaced. Since the beginning of this year, nearly 6,000 Haitians have been deported to their native Haiti, which is still reeling — with a cholera epidemic, homelessness and electoral chaos. Human rights organizations now report race motivated attacks against Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. Maria Hinojosa traveled to the Island to report on what is happening there.

Produced by Xochitl Dorsey, Mixed and Engineered by Mincho Jacob, Edited by Maria Martin. Executive Producer Martha Spanninger.


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EXTRA: Listen to Vanessa’s story, a five-month pregnant Haitian woman who lives undocumented in the Dominican Republic.

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Impacts of Alabama’s Law

This past June, Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley, signed legislation know as HB-56 into law. Suddenly, Alabama has the strictest anti-immigration laws on the books. Samuel Brooke is a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the organizations challenging the law’s constitutionality.


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Alabama’s harsh new immigration law has immigrant families fleeing the state. But where are they going? Many are heading south to Florida, where jobs and services may not be sufficient to meet the increased need.

This story is produced by Andrew Stelzer and edited & mixed by Claire Schoen.


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Música de Todos Lados

So what happens when a critically-acclaimed American guitarist and composer who fuses on country, blues and jazz, joins forces with a Brazilian-born singer-songwriter guitarist who merges bossa nova with contemporary music? In their words it’s “music from all over the place.” And now it’s compiled on their CD Lagrimas Mexicanas… or Mexican Tears. Independent radio producer Reese Erlich sat down with the two artists – Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuaria – to talk about their unique sound.


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Swimming at ‘The Point’

As part of our series RadioNature, Maria Hinojosa takes her kids for a swim with their 75-year old grandmother at the ‘The Point’ in Lake Michigan. It’s where her mother took her as a child, and where today, three generations connect with nature and each other in profound ways.

This story is produced by Nusha Balyan and edited by Deborah George.

RadioNature is a year-long series that looks at how people of color connect with nature. Funding comes from the REI Foundation.


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Guatemala City’s Basurero

The Guatemala City basurero is the largest garbage dump in Central America. It’s not a place anyone wants to be near, much less ‘work’ at. But for hundreds of guajeros, everyday is spent sifting through refuse looking for items to recycle. Correspondent John Burnett reports.

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Curandero

We go to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet Charles Garcia, founder of the California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism. Garcia is a third generation curandero, a traditional healer. He treats the sick with tinctures, vinegars, and other concoctions made of plants, many of which he grows or harvests in the outdoors.

Reporter Lisa Morehouse tagged along with Garcia to find out what it’s all about.

Our series RadioNature is funded by the REI Foundation.

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From Farm Worker to Farm Owner

Karina Canto is pulling her red beets from the soil at a farm in California’s Salinas Valley. She’s a recent graduate of ALBA, the Agriculture and Land-based Training Association located in the Central Valley, that’s helping turn farm workers into farm owners and operators. It’s a unique program that has sparked a growing trend across the country.
Efren Avalos also graduated from the program.He owns and runs Avalos Organic Farm – A 17-acre plot of rich farmland located in the ranching and farming community of Hollister, California. We met up with both Karina, and Efren to find out about the journey of becoming farm owners and how it’s changed their lives.

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El Dia De Los Muertos

What would you get if you mixed Catholicism and ancient Aztec rituals . . . with colored sugar and hot candle wax? You’d get a beautiful alter built to mark a holiday that many Latinos, and non-Latinos, celebrate this week called El Dia de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead. You’ve probably heard it erroneously called “Mexican Halloween” at some point for all the dark imagery of skulls, bones and death. But as Latino USA’s Marcos Nájera reports from Hollywood, the ghosts and spirits that appear during the first week of every November are anything but grim.

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Nicaragua: Women, Violence, and Elections

This upcoming November marks fifty years since the murder of the Mirabal Sisters by the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Since then the three sisters have been a symbol for Latin American feminists everywhere and the United Nations has declared November 25th a national day for the elimination of violence against women. It will be commemorated in many Latin American countries, including Nicaragua, where women are currently experiencing an increasing wave of violence. As Presidential elections near in Nicaragua on November 6th, women’s organizations are condemning the violence and the laws, and institutions that perpetuate it. Independent journalist Maria Martin reports from Managua, Nicaragua.

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The Evolving Occupy Wall Street

The “Occupy” movement has been steadily growing and has spread throughout the US and abroad. This week, we take a closer look at Latinos participating throughout the United States and the messages they want to convey. We start at Zuccotti Park with Marine Perez, who has been with the movement from the very beginning. She is an activist and translator, originally from Puerto Rico, and now, she is the language coordinator of the “Occupy Wall Street Journal.” We are also joined by activists: John Michael Torres from McAllen, TX, Marissa Martinez from LA, and Judith Marquez from Denver.

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Opera en la Calle

In recent years Tijuana has become synonymous with grim murders and the violent drug war. But cultural workers there are trying to change that image and showcase Tijuana’s vibrant communities of artists and great restaurants. One shining example is the Festival “Opera en la calle” that recently celebrated its eighth year. It is a celebration, which started as a small event in one of Tijuana’s oldest neighborhoods, Colonia Libertad. It has grown through the years, and this summer it drew over 10,000 opera fans, some of the best singers in this quarter of the continent, and numerous art booths, food stands, and costumed performers. Reporter Jon Beaupré was there and brings us a taste of it.

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