Latino USA

Archive for December, 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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