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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Latino Vintage

Alex Sotelo arrived in California’s Napa Valley from Zacatecas, Mexico 22 years ago as a farmworker, and fell in love with the art and science of winemaking. He is now the owner his own winery, Alex Sotelo Cellars. Producer Diana Montaño joins him at the Summit Wine and Food Festival in Summit, New Jersey, where his wine is being featured for the fifth year in a row.

Image courtesy of Summit Wine and Food Festival.

C2_AlexAlex Sotelo was born in Jerez, Zacatecas Mexico; he came to Napa in 1991 and started to work in the vineyards as many immigrants do. It took many years of schooling and endless hours in the vineyards, doing experiments in the cellars and the valor to pursue his passion to get to where he is now, a well established and admired winemaker. For Alex this is a dream come true.



Your Thoughts on PBS’ “Latino Americans”

Latino USA social media producer Brenda Salinas steps away from Twitter and into the recording booth to talk to host Maria Hinojosa. They discuss how social media has reacted to the PBS series “Latino Americans.”


brenda headshot

Brenda Salinas is a regio-montana by birth, tejana by choice. Before coming on board as an associate producer with Latino USA, she was awarded the highly competitive Kroc Fellowship at NPR. She is currently Latino USA’s resident social media diva.


Sabiduría: The Boxing Edition

Writer, filmmaker and speaker Raquel Cepeda talks about her passion for boxing and how she incorporates it into her everyday life. She gives words of wisdom about how boxing improves mental, physical, and spiritual health.

Raquel.photoRaquel Cepeda is an award-winning journalist, cultural activist and documentary filmmaker. A former magazine editor, her byline has appeared in The Village Voice,, and the Associated Press. She directed and produced “Bling: A Planet Rock,” about American hip-hop culture’s obsession with diamonds. Her latest literary work is a memoir, “Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina.”

Big Screen Crossover: Eugenio Derbez

Conventional wisdom says that Spanish-language movies don’t do well in the United States. But Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez set his sights north of the border, and his movie “Instructions Not Included” had the biggest opening weekend a Spanish-language movie has ever had. He joins Latino USA to talk about his crossover project.

Photo courtesy Pantelion Films

B3Eugenio_headshot_wikicommonsEugenio Derbez is arguably the most popular Mexican comedic actor of his generation. Due to his incredible ability to transform himself into any character, and to his extensive career in television, film and theatre, Much of his popularity is due to his television programs Al Derecho y al Derbez, XH-DRBZ, Vecinos, La Alegría del Hogar and La Familia P. Luche, which have had many of the highest audience ratings.In recent years, his outstanding career and his enormous ability as an actor have paved his way into the American film industry, allowing him to work alongside renowned actors such as Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino, among others.

“Instructions Not Included” is his cinematic directorial debut.




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.


“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.


Salma Hayek: On Being Frida Kahlo (2002)

Maria Hinojosa talks risk-taking and filmmaking with actress Salma Hayek in this interview from 2002.

Photo courtesy of Miramax.

Rosie Perez: Rising To Fame (1993)

In 1993, actress Rosie Perez was a rising Latina star. Reporter Mandalit del Barco brought us this profile of her rise to stardom from humble Brooklyn roots.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.

Julieta Venegas: Bueninvento (2000)

In her own words, musician Julieta Venegas tells us about her influences and her early career, around the time of her second release, “Bueninvento” in 2000.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Street Life…In 1993

In this special archive edition, we hear three essays from a friend of Latino USA. Former gang member John Guardo takes us through his escape from violence and drugs, and reflects on his experience as a Colombian immigrant.

Photo from Latino USA archives.

The Queen of Tejano Music (1995)

Selena Quintanilla Perez was the queen of Tejano music. In this piece from 1995, Latino USA’s Maria Martin brings us the voices of those whose lives she touched through her music. Originally aired April 1995.

Photo courtesy flickr.

Latinos in Baseball (1998)

Latin Americans love baseball. But in this piece from 1998, we hear about the problems faced by Spanish-speakers when major league players arrive from abroad.

Chevy Boat Cubans (2007)

In this 2007 story, we hear the story of how two Cubans in Miami plan to return home in an unusual vehicle.


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