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Archive for September, 2013

Remembering Latino World War II Vets

Latino USA explores the contributions Latinos made to the fight during World War II, and we learn about one soldier who captured around 1,500 prisoners of war. We speak with Prof. Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez, who has collected over 600 stories of Latino WWII vets.

Photo courtesy Voces Project

And check out the Voces Oral History Project’s piece on Latino WWII vets:

Foto-Voz: Ramon Galindo from Voces Oral History Project on Vimeo.

C2WW2VETS_headshot_MaggieRivasMaggie Rivas-Rodriguez is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She has more than 17 years of daily news experience, mostly as a reporter for the Boston Globe, WFAA-TV in Dallas and the Dallas Morning News. Her research interests include the intersection of oral history and journalism, U.S. Latinos and the news media. Since 1999, Rivas-Rodriguez has spearheaded the U.S. Latino and Latina Oral History Project “Voces”.





A Rita in Spanish Harlem

Actress Rita Moreno and her fans send Latino USA an audio postcard from her book signing at La Casa Azul Bookstore in New York City’s “El Barrio” neighborhood.


*Correction: In this piece, Rita Moreno says that Raul Julia won an Oscar. Julia did not win an Oscar. Benicio del Toro did for “Traffic”, making him the third Puerto Rican actor to win the award. Julia was nominated for several awards and won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, as well as the Emmy.

Sabiduría: Marta Moreno Vega

Marta Moreno Vega gives us one of her favorite “dichos,” or sayings, about those who help us through the hard times.

Photo courtesy Flickr

marta fb

Photo courtesy Dr. Marta Moreno Vega Facebook Page

Marta Moreno Vega was born in El Barrio “Spanish Harlem” of Puerto Rican parents born in Puerto Rico. Dr. Vega, an Afro Puerto Rican, has dedicated her professional life to developing culturally grounded institutions placing the history and culture of African descendants in the Diaspora in the time clock of world history. She is founder and president of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, an international not for profit organization located in New York City which she created in 1976.


Deportee Plane

Reporter Valerie Hamilton tells the story of deportees who died in a 1948 plane crash. Their identities remained unknown until now. Also, Maria Hinojosa interviews Hamilton about the Woody Guthrie song “Deportee,” inspired by the crash. Additional reporting by Rebecca Plevin.

Photo: Tim Hernandez, right, and folk musician John McCutcheon, left, unveiling the new memorial dedicated to the victims of the deportee plane crash. Also unveiling the memorial were musician Lance Canales and Jaime Ramirez, the relative of two crash victims. Image courtesy of Rebecca Plevin/Valley Public Radio.


The plane crash victims:

Miguel Negrete Álvarez
Tomás Aviña de Gracia
Francisco Llamas Durán
Santiago García Elizondo
Rosalio Padilla Estrada
Tomás Padilla Márquez
Bernabé López Garcia
Salvador Sandoval Hernández
Severo Medina Lára
Elías Trujillo Macias
José Rodriguez Macias
Luis López Medina
Manuel Calderón Merino
Luis Cuevas Miranda
Martin Razo Navarro
Ignacio Pérez Navarro
Román Ochoa Ochoa
Ramón Paredes Gonzalez
Guadalupe Ramírez Lára
Apolonio Ramírez Placencia
Alberto Carlos Raygoza
Guadalupe Hernández Rodríguez
Maria Santana Rodríguez
Juan Valenzuela Ruiz
Wenceslao Flores Ruiz
José Valdívia Sánchez
Jesús Meza Santos
Baldomero Marcas Torres

Valerie. photoValerie Hamilton is an independent producer. She reports on issues on and around the U.S-Mexico border for U.S. and European public media. She’s based in Los Angeles.

TRUST Around the Country

Local governments in California, New Orleans, and Connecticut are implementing laws known as “TRUST acts,” limiting the scope of cooperation between local law enforcement and the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. We’ll hear pieces from Adrian Florido in California, Kate Richardson in New Orleans, and Lucy Nalpathanchil in Connecticut. We’ll also hear from a Connecticut TRUST act booster, state senate majority leader Martin Looney.

Photo: Josemaria Islas at a rally in New Haven, CT. His detention and pending deportation spurred the Connecticut TRUST act. Image courtesy of Unidad Latina En Acción.


Senator Looney is in his sixth term as Senate Majority Leader of the General Assembly, having first been elected to that leadership post in 2003. He is also Chair of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and Vice Chair of the Legislative Management Committee. Since being elected to the State Senate in 1993 and prior to his election as Majority Leader, he served six years as Senate Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee; Chairman of the Banks Committee; and one term as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee.

RebeccaPlevin Adrian Florido is a reporter for the Fronteras Desk where he covers the U.S.-Mexico border, immigrant and tribal communities, demographics, and culture. Before joining KPBS, he was a staff writer at Voice of San Diego. There he reported on San Diego neighborhoods, focusing on immigrant and under-served communities as well as development, planning, land use, and transportation.

kate pic

Kate Richardson is from Houston, Texas. She is an independent radio producer and contributor to WWNO in New Orleans. She helps run a community media project called The Listening Post and teaches Spanish at Delgado Community College.


nalpathanchil by Chion Wolf

Lucy Nalpathanchil is WNPR’s All Things Considered Host and Correspondent. She’s an award-winning reporter who has worked in several states since starting her career at WDUQ in Pittsburgh. Lucy now lives in beautiful New England where she reports on news stories in the Connecticut region and contributes to National Public Radio.  While at WNPR, her stories have focused on immigration including New Haven’s controversial ID card program, efforts for an in-state tuition law for undocumented students, and the “Becoming American” series


Dangerous Deportations

Mexican deportees are often dropped off in dangerous border cities at night. Reporter Maria Zamudio takes us to the Mexican city of Matamoros to see what they face when they arrive.

For Maria’s report in The Chicago Reporter, click HERE.

Image courtesy of Maria Zamudio.


mzamudio2Maria Zamudio is an award-winning investigative reporter. She joined The Chicago Reporter Magazine to cover immigration, labor and health in 2011. Prior to joining the investigative magazine, she spent three years in California working for several daily newspapers. She’s a bilingual reporter and blogger with experience producing radio and video stories. She been awarded many prestigious fellowships including  the New York Times fellowship in 2003. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007.



Diversity Visa

You might think immigration reform would make it easier for people to come to the U.S. But one proposal on the table, the elimination of the Diversity Visa program would actually have the opposite effect. Matt Laslo reports.

Image courtesy of Flicker.

MATT-LASLOBased on Capitol Hill, Matt Laslo is a freelance reporter who has been covering Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court for more than five years. While he has filed stories for more than 40 local NPR stations, his work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, National Public Radio, The Omaha World-Herald, Pacifica Radio, Politics



Santiago Postcard

Reporter Alexandra Hall sends us an audio postcard from Santiago, Chile, on the fortieth anniversary of the U.S. backed coup against Salvador Allende.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Alexandra HallAlexandra Hall is an independent radio producer currently based in Santiago. She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Columbia and a B.A. in Spanish from UC Santa Cruz. Alexandra is an intern with Chile’s finest news station, Radio Cooperativa, and the Co-host of NACLA Radio. She is best known for going rogue to get the story- from New England to the Southern Cone.




This past week, the Obama administration considered attacking Syria because of its use of chemical weapons. Maria Hinojosa discusses what this means for Latinos given past interventions in Latin America.

Photo courtesy Flickr

Robert Litwak is Vice President for Scholars and Director of International Security Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a Consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Litwak served on the National Security Council staff as Director for Nonproliferation in the first Clinton administration.


“Latino Americans”

PBS debuts part one of a six-hour documentary American Latino history on Wednesday, September 17th. Host Maria Hinojosa talks to Vicki Ruiz, a UC Irvine historian featured in the series, and Jose Fulgencio, a young Latino blogger, about the series. The conversation focuses on the birth of anti-Latino immigrant rhetoric during the Great Depression and why this history is not taught in schools.

Photo courtesy PBS.

Vicki Ruiz is a professor of history at U.C. Irvine specializing in Chicano/Latino studies. Her research encompasses 20th century U.S. History, Chicano/Latino history through oral narratives, gender studies, labor and immigration.



Jose FulgencioJose Fulgencio is a blogger and public speaker. A young Latino first generation college graduate, he has a B.A. In Political Science form Northeastern Illinois University and a Master of Arts in Political Science form Oklahoma State University. His work has appeared in Urban Times, The Washington Times Communities and Policy Mic.


Sabiduría: Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch

We wrap up the show with another “Sabiduria,” or words of wisdom. Author and retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch talks about about owning your past.

Photo courtesy of Flickr


Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch was born and raised along the border in a small barrio in Laredo, Texas. Although she grew up without material wealth, Consuelo was taught by her immigrant parents that she was rich in culture, tradition, values and faith. After graduating from Hardin Simmons University, Consuelo entered the U.S. Army as an officer and served for two decades. She became the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army. In 1996, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch founded the human development company, Educational Achievement Services, Inc. (EAS, Inc.), tofulfill her mission of preparing tomorrow’s leaders. Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch is the proud mother of five daughters, the proud grandmother of 3, and currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband, David.

Chicago Schools Update

Last May, many of Chicago’s public schools closed. And as the school year starts, some students are forced to cross dangerous gang territory to attend their new schools. We hear from two of them.


Photo courtesy Brian Lowry.


Class of 2030: Dual Language in the South

A demographic surge of young Latinos is making their way through school, and by the time they’re out of college, the year will be 2030. In this first installment of our year-long series, Maria Hinojosa talks to teacher Elizabeth Bonitz about how dual language programs have become more popular in her town of Siler City, North Carolina.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Lessons Learned: Immigration

Maria Hinojosa takes us through the lessons Latino USA has learned in twenty years of covering issues related to immigration.


Photo courtesy Flickr


Reporting on Schools

NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez talks about how the situation of Latinos in education has changed throughout his career.

Photo courtesy Flickr


claudio sanchez

Photo courtesy National Public Radio.


Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the “three p’s” of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez’s reports air regularly on NPR’s award-winning newsmagazinesMorning EditionAll Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.


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