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Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

Pavochón: Puerto Rican-style Turkey

When reporter Von Diaz was a girl celebrating Thanksgiving in Puerto Rico, her abuela ruled the kitchen. Each year she created a magical dish called a pavochón, a turkey cooked like a traditional Puerto Rican pork roast. This year, she tries to recreate the dish with her grandmother’s help.



Von Diaz is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. Her reporting focuses on immigration, Cuba, and LGBT issues. She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, GA.She has published her work on PRI’s The World, WNYC, and New American Media.

The Real Spelunkers Of Puerto Rico

Forget the beaches ­– some of Puerto Rico’s most stunning natural environments are actually located under your feet. Our producer Marlon Bishop visits one of the island’s 2000 caves with a team of hardened local spelunkers on a journey in search of indigenous cave art. After a long journey hacking through the jungle with machetes, they arrive at a rarely-visited cave where Taino shaman may have once performed the sacred cohoba ritual.

This story is part of the RadioNature series which explores the ways Latinos connect with nature. RadioNature is supported by the REI Foundation.

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Marlon Bishop_new headshotMarlon Bishop is a radio producer, writer, and reporter based in New York. His work is focused on music, Latin America, New York City and the arts. He is a frequent contributor to WNYC, Studio 360, The World, Latino USA and MTV Iggy. He is an Associate Producer for Afropop Worldwide.








Goths: Latinos On The Dark Side

Goth culture. Is it in? Is it out? Do they even care? Hear the stories of three Latinos who found a sense of community in Goth subculture while we try to answer the question of the ages: Why are Latinos obsessed with Morrissey? It’s not just the pompadour.

Photo credit Suzy Exposito.

A2_HEADSHOT_NADIA_NOCREDITNadia Reiman has been a radio producer since 2005. Before joining the Latino USA team, Nadia produced for StoryCorps for almost five years. Her work there on 9/11 stories earned her a Peabody Award. She has also mixed audio for animations, assisted on podcasts for magazines, and program managed translations for Canon Latin America. Nadia has also produced for None on Record editing and mixing stories of queer Africans, and worked on a Spanish language radio show called Epicentro based out of Washington DC. She graduated from Kenyon College with a double major in International Studies and Spanish Literature


A2_LATINOGOTHS_SUZYEXPOSITO_HEADSHOT_NOCREDITSuzy Exposito is an illustrator, musician and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She’s a staff contributor at Rookie Mag and Bitch Magazine, and volunteers at the Willie Mae Rock Camp For Girls. She’s living out her teen dream as the singer for feminist punk band Shady Hawkins. You can keep up with her on Twitter via @msmalcriada.



A2_LATINOGOTHS_HEADSHOT_PABLOPOFFALD_NOCREDITPablo Poffold is a 3D Artist who originally hails from a small town in Indiana. He was born in the U.S. to Chilean parents, and spent his childhood and adolescence drawing, painting, tinkering with digital art and audio software, and playing video games. He now works in the video game industry and feels very lucky to spend his daisy making art for a living. You can find his website at www.

Losing Your Citizenship In The Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, the Constitutional Court has retroactively revoked citizenship from anyone of Haitian descent dating back 84 years. Maria Hinojosa reports on how this change is affecting Dominican-born Haitians, and how the dynamic is playing out among Dominican and Haitian-Americans here in the U.S.


Zapotec Language Postcard

An indigenous language in Mexico called Zapotec is in danger of dying out. Its best chance of survival is, ironically, in Los Angeles.


ruxandraRuxandra Guidi has a decade of experience working in public radio, print, and multimedia and has reported throughout California, the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Ruxandra is a recipient of Johns Hopkins University’s International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellowship, which took her to Haiti for a series of stories about development aid and human rights in 2008. That year, she was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Reporting, given to U.S. journalists under 35 years of age.

After earning a Master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley in 2002, she got her break in public radio by assisting independent radio producers The Kitchen Sisters. A couple of years later, she did field reporting and production work for the BBC public radio news program, The World. Her stories focused on Latin America, human rights, rural communities, immigration, popular culture and music.
Most recently, Guidi was a border reporter for the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration between public radio stations throughout the Southwest and U.S.-Mexico border.

Throughout her journalism career, Guidi has also produced magazine features and radio documentaries for the BBC World Service in Spanish, National Public Radio, The Walrus, Guernica, Virginia Quarterly Review, World Vision Report, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Dispatches and Marketplace radio programs.

She’s a native of Caracas, Venezuela.

Eddie Zazueta: Bay Area Rhymes

Nineteen-year-old Bay Area poet and rapper Eddie Zazueta writes about hip hop, street culture, and life in the Bay Area. He performed two original pieces for us at our live show in Sacramento.

Eddie opened with his song “Around the Sun,” where he speaks to the influence of hip-hop in his life:

And he closed with a performance of his poem “South Berkeley,” where he talks about life in the neighborhood where he grew up, and how it’s changing.

Photo courtesy of Youth Radio.


Eddie Zazueta is a rapper and poet from Oakland, California. Eddie is a youth participant of Remix Your Life, a program of Youth Radio. Youth Radio is an Oakland-based media company that focuses on training youth in various forms of media production.

Forbidden Words and Forgotten Arts: Daniel Alarcón

Peruvian-born author Daniel Alarcón brings us a story about cultural adaptation and breaking interracial taboos, called “The Forbidden Word”. The story was originally produced by Radio Ambulante, the Spanish-language storytelling radio program he runs. He talks with Maria Hinojosa about the project, and discusses his new novel, titled “At Night We Walk in Circles”, about a young Latin American actor traveling with an avant-garde theater group. Special thanks to Radio Ambulante’s Martina Castro.

And here’s Radio Ambulante’s original “Palabra Prohibida/Forbidden Word” story, en español:


Daniel Alarcon (c) Adrian KinlochDANIEL ALARCÓN is author of “War by Candlelight”, a finalist for the 2005 PEN-Hemingway Award, and “Lost City Radio”, named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post, among others. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, n+1, and Harper’s, and he has been named one of The New Yorker’s 20 under 40. He lives in San Francisco, California.

About Radio Ambulante: Radio Ambulante is a Spanish-language radio program that tells Latin American stories from anywhere Spanish is spoken, including the United States.

Ode To The Plantain

Maria Hinojosa and producer Daisy Rosario sit down to chat about that staple of the Caribbean Latino’s diet, the plantain. Or, as Daisy calls it, “the Latino potato.”


Daisy_faceDaisy Rosario is a comedian, writer and producer of things from radio stories to live events. Recently graduated from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, she also works with The Moth and the Upright CitizensBrigade Theatre. Daisy is an obsessive baseball fan.

Decolonize Your Tortilla!

Heads up, tortilla snobs! A pair of California professors behind the blog Decolonize Your Diet! show us how to make fresh homemade tortillas the traditional way. They’re not just tastier, they’re healthier.

Photo courtesy of Tena Rubio


C1_Tena+Rubio+for+BioTena Rubio is an award-winning radio journalist based in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She’s a contributor to NPR’s Latino USA and is the former host & executive producer of the national public affairs show, Making Contact. A former TV news writer and producer, she is currently the Board Secretary for the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR).



Dr. Luz Calvo is an Associate Professor at California State University, East Bay
Dr. Catriona Rueda Esquibel is an Associate Professor, San Francisco State University




#Latino Problems

Being bicultural, multicultural, ambicultural…it can get complicated. We want to help out. We’ve teamed up with Latina’s Magazine’s advice columnist Pauline Campos for a new recurring segment we like to call #LatinoProblems. Our social media diva Brenda Salinas attended a conference in New York for Latinos in social media in called Latism, and they found plenty of people with plenty of questions.



Pauline Campos is Latina Magazine’s advice & relationship columnist,Latino USA’s #LatinoProblems advice expert on NPR, editor of the ebook anthology, Strong Like Butterfly, and contributes to various websites. Pauline blogs three times a week at Aspiring Mama (or when she remember to take her Adderall) & is the founder of Girl Body Pride. Strong like Butterfly is currently available on Smashwords


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 has reportedpieces for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Weekends on All Things Considered and for Houston Public Radio.



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.


NYC Election Milestone

Latinos have made their power felt in the New York City mayor’s race in a way not seen before, with celebrities like John Leguizamo and Junot Diaz endorsing candidate Bill DeBlasio. And in Brooklyn, the first Mexican-American ever will be on the city council. Politician Carlos Menchaca visits the Latino USA studios and talks about being not only the first Mexican-American councilmember, but also the first openly gay legislator to represent Brooklyn.

Photo courtesy


Carlos Menchaca is a product of public schools and public housing, He is a native of El Paso, Texas raised by a single mother who immigrated from Mexico,  In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Carlos worked day and night, bringing together local leaders, community groups, and everyday New Yorkers to coordinate response efforts and hold New York City, State, and Federal officials accountable.

As New York City Council member, Carlos will represent residents of the 38th Council District, which encompasses Sunset Park, Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, Borough Park, Windsor Terrace and Bay Ridge Towers.



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”.





“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.


Somos: Who We Are (1993)

As Latinos, our Spanish heritage binds us, but ancestry from far flung corners of the world divides us. In this special piece on identity from 1993, we explore what that unity—and diversity—means.

Photo courtesy of Flickr


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