Author Archive

Esteban “Steve” Jordan

San Antonio (14 August 2010) — Esteban “Steve” Jordan, the conjunto accordion legend has died of complications from liver cancer. He was 71 years old.

Last year, Alex Avila produced this appreciation of the musical pioneer.

Texas accordion artist Esteban ‘Steve’ Jordan has built a reputation as a reclusive, eclectic artist. Many of those who know his work say he is truly a musical genius. But unlike other Tejano accordion players like Flaco Jiménez, Jordan resisted musical collaborations and built a reputation for keeping to himself. In fact, he often refused to give media interviews.

In 2008, Jordan was diagnosed with liver cancer and cirrhosis. While he has battled those illnesses, he has largely maintained a regular schedule, playing at Saluté International Bar in San Antonio, Texas every Friday. This past February, Jordan released his first CD in nearly two decades.

Latino USA’s Alex Avila visited with Jordan and his sons.


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

To hear an hour-long audio documentary on the life and music of Esteban ‘Steve’ Jordan, click on the slideshow below.

Juarez Killings

Over the past decade, Juarez, Mexico, just across the river from El Paso, Texas, has garnered much unwanted attention. The murder of women and girls lured to the border by the promise of jobs in the maquila industry emerged in the late 1990s. And the first decade of the 21st century saw a major increase in drug-related violence.

It’s hard to avoid gruesome murder photos constantly in the Mexican media. But the recent killings of Americans and Mexicans connected to the American consul in Juarez have again shocked the community. Questions quickly arose as to why drug gangs would target the American embassy. But American FBI units have said that Americans were not specifically targeted and could have been caught in a case of mistaken identity.

Alfredo Corchado has been following the drug violence for years as Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News.


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

Documenting Border Violence

In January of 2009, independent producer Scott Carrier produced a report for NPR’s Day-to-Day program (now defunct). In it, Scott followed around a Mexican photographer whose job it was to photograph gruesome drug-related murder scenes before the bodies were taken away to the local morgue. Most of the photos would appear in the next morning’s newspapers.

Here again is that broadcast.


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

This story was part of Day to Day’s “Hearing Voices” series. CLICK HERE to link to the original broadcast dated January 5, 2009.

The Central Falls School District of Rhode Island

Central Falls, Rhode Island is not a region that immediately jumps out as being an immigrant Latino hotbed. But as the region has struggled with English as a Second Language and shifting demographics, the “No Child Left Behind” provisions of federal education standards has critized the school’s performance. In a drastic move to combat falling performance standards, the local school board recently fired the entire teaching staff of the local high school. The story has made national headlines.

But the immigrant and Latino aspects of what is happening in Central Falls, Rhode Island is largely being overlooked by national media. To examine this more closely, Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa speaks with WRNI Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison and New York University Education Professor Mario Suarez-Orozco.


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

Commentary: Who Wants to be a ‘Minority’?

Demographers say that in many growing areas of the country, Latinos are becoming a “majority-minority.” But the term “minority” has been one Latino USA has sought to avoid throughout the years. Maria Hinojosa explains why.


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

The 9/11 Workers

In the hours immediately following the attack on the World Trade Center, a call went out for help. People were needed to sift through the debris and to begin to clean up the rubble that piled in the footprint of the twin towers.

It was delicate and back breaking work. Many responded generously and put themselves in harm’s way to sift carefully through the ash and dust: this was a mass gravesite, and the work was considered sacred in some very real way.

Some of those who responded in 2001 lack the documentation to live in the U.S. legally. That is complicating their attempts to receive medical care for illnesses they say stem from their cleanup work. This week, many of them met in New York to call for reform of the nation’s immigration laws.

Maria talks with José Gaviria, one of the workers who responded to the call for help at Ground Zero and with Daniel Coates, a communtiy organizer with Make the Road: New York, which sponsored the gathering of 9/11 workers.


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

U.S.-Mexico Border Violence

Murders are a daily occurrence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Fueled by the drug trade, the killings no longer necessarily make the front pages of newspapers in communities such as El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Maria talks with Latino USA contributor Monica Ortiz Uribe about the current state of affairs along the border.


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

Miguel Turriza, a reporter for Noticias Cablecom, found himself in the crossfire in February in Reynosa, Mexico.

Pacha Massive

If you’ve ever wondered what the soundtrack of Maria’s life sounds like, you’re in luck: it’s the music of Pacha Massive. The cool and funky bilingual sounds of Ramon Nova and Maya Martinez have been in her iPod for years and have accompanied her across town and around the world.

She sits down with Nova — the Dominican-born keyboardist/guitarist/ writer/producer (he’s a three-slash dude!) to talk about the duo’s latest release on Nacional Records: “If You Want It.”


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

American Dreamer: Sam’s Story

The American ethic that hard work and gumption are keys to success is one not lost on public education students. Stay in school, go to college, find a good job – all themes that educators press in school. But imagine that you do all that only to find that the rules actually don’t apply to you. That’s the plight of thousands of high school graduates every year.

By law, the public education system cannot turn away students based on immigration status. A free public education is available to all in this country. And children who were brought here by their immigrant parents often thrive in this system. But what happens after they leave high school? The best and brightest have no problem getting accepted into top universities. But that’s where their immigration status gets tricky.

Only a handful of states have passed legislation allowing undocumented children who graduate from public high schools to attend public colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates, some with student financial aid. For those lucky few, the opportunities end there. They cannot enter the U.S. job market legally, despite diplomas and degrees. The vast majority of undocumented students, however, have no access to student aid and must pay international student tuition rates. This has led to calls for supporting federal legislation commonly known as the DREAM Act. But despite public support for it, the legislation has become mired in national immigration politics.

Produced by The Futuro Media Group and Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister of Long Haul Productions, the feature titled American Dreamer tells the story of an undocumented student trying to get a college education. A few weeks before graduation, Dan and Elizabeth met Sam, a highly Americanized high school kid who plays saxophone. Same never really worried about politics and immigration status, until now. This is his story.

 
 

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Sam recently traveled to New York to participate in a panel about the DREAM ACT. The event was hosted by The College Board. Because of his undocumented status, Sam could not get on an airplane and had to be driven. Here’s his audio postcard of that trip.

American Dreamer: Sam’s Story is the winner of the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Audio Documentary, and the Radio Impact Award in the 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival.

 

 

 

Sam’s Audio Postcard

Sam recently traveled to New York to participate in a panel about the DREAM ACT. The event was hosted by The College Board. Because of his undocumented status, Sam could not get on an airplane and had to be driven. Here’s his audio postcard of that trip.

If you’d like information about helping Sam in his quest for an education, click HERE.

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