Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Peace Corps Culture Clash

American Peace Corps volunteers are known for bringing aid to communities in developing countries, but American volunteers are also supposed to learn about another culture, and vice versa. In rural Paraguay, three volunteers each face their own struggle with the local people. Julia Wentzel, who is teaching local farmers how to keep bees, finds that most men are more interested in her than in making honey. Nick Fisher discovers that his sexuality is a bigger deal in Paraguay than he expected. And Maren Saly finds love in a small farming town, but itsn’t sure if their cultural differences can sustain the relationship over time. Nina Feldman reports from Rincon Guazu, Paraguay.


Photo by Stan Wentzel

Daisy Hernandez Journeys to Cuba

In her new memoir, “A Cup of Water Under my Bed” journalist Daisy Hernandez reveals many personal experiences. One such difficult experience is how her father would abuse her when she was a child.

She talks to us about how she learned to forgive him and how her trip to Cuba put things in perspective.

The Whitopia of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a growing town near the Canadian border, is what author Rich Benjamin calls a Whitopia–a place that is overwhelmingly white in the face of increasing national diversity. Maria traveled to Coeur d’Alene and met Pat Boland, a former LAPD officer who moved with his family from Los Angeles in 2001 to the highly homogenous community of Northern Idaho with a troubled history of white supremacy. She also talks with Patricia Gonzalez, a Mexican restaurant manager who experienced firsthand the leftover racist and anti-immigrant attitudes of the town–yet who nonetheless has no desire to leave.

Made in conjunction with Futuro Media Group’s new television series America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, Maria looks at what these Whitopias mean for a country that is less and less white.

America By The Numbers: Our Private Idaho Trailer from The Futuro Media Group on Vimeo.

Fear of those who are supposed to protect you

What happens when those who are supposed to protect you are the source of your fear? We talk to Jennifer Gonnerman, a reporter for the New Yorker whose latest piece follows the unfortunate story of Kalief Browder.

Kalief was held at Riker’s Island for more than 1,000 days without trial. For many of those days he was in solitary confinement. After three years of being held the charges against Browder were finally dropped. But Browder continues to experience fear…

You can find the New Yorker article here.


Jennifer Gonnerman is a contributing writer for New York Magazine and Mother Jones. She is also the author of “Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award.





Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Day of the Dead gets its Hollywood moment

Jorge Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua know a thing or two about the Day of the Dead. The director of the new animated film The Book of Life and his wife who was a character designer for the film got engaged and married on el dia de los muertos.

So it only fits that their first big studio theatrical film be inspired by it. They tell us what day of the dead means to them and how they hope to pass on its meaning to others.

The Book of Life comes out October 17th.


Jorge R. Gutiérrez is an animator, painter, writer and director who created the multiple Annie and Emmy award winning animated television series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon.

Sandra Equihua is an illustrator, painter, and animated character designer.

This Week’s Captions: The Fear Of…

This week Latino USA examines fear, from facing it, to what we learn from it. We hear about people stopped by border patrol who cite the fifth amendment, a man deported to a home he never knew, and a fight for justice after a loved one is gunned down by cops. We learn about the Mexican folk saint some whites are worshipping, and counties where others are fleeing multiculturalism. Plus the story of a young man who sat in solitary confinement without a trial, a new movie inspired by the Day of the Dead, and why even a cloud as gloomy as cancer can have a silver lining.

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”
The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.
For each week’s captioning, check back on


Sabiduría: A DACA recipient on finally serving

Last week the Department of Defense announced that they will now allow and even recruit deferred action for childhood arrival, also known as DACA, recipients to the military.

For some, like high school senior Yael Julian Calderon Esquivel, joining the army will mean fulfilling a childhood dream.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

After The Floods

In September 2013, rain pounded Colorado. Catastrophic flooding killed ten people and destroyed more than 1,800 structures, including six mobile home parks with large Latino populations.

Back then, we interviewed Colorado-based reporter Lesly McClurg about stories she collected from Latinos who were affected by the floods.

Now, one year later, Lesley McClurg brings us a report about how families have struggled to recover in the face of language barriers, split communities, and the fear of revealing their immigration status. She visited two families in northern Colorado who lost everything.


Photo via Lesly McClurg

#1436 – ¡Showtime!

This week we find out what it means to be in the onstage and on the spot. We meet an opera singer who loves telenovelas, a comedian who inspires young Latinos. We hear the drum beats of Puerto Rican Bomba music, learn about a new reality show starring undocumented kids. We put pressure on the new president and CEO of NPR. We shine a spotlight on Tejanos, and a tech journalist tells us what it means to “fail fast.” And Maria Hinojosa interviews the legendary Sheila E and we find out what makes her so cool.

Photo by Chris Smith via Flickr. 

Zorro: America’s First Superhero

The Zorro story, invented in 1919 by pulp fiction author Johnston McCulley, tells the tale of an aristocrat in Spanish California who dons a mask to fight against corrupt colonial officials on behalf of the oppressed.

Zorro became the subject of a hit silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks in 1920, and went on to become one of the biggest pop culture franchises of all time. It inspired dozens of remakes, TV series, books and comics across the globe. Perhaps more importantly, Zorro went on to influence the American super hero tradition as a model for characters like Batman, Superman and the Lone Ranger.

But McCulley didn’t pluck Zorro out of thin air. The character was based on several real-life Spanish and Mexican outlaws who operated in the West, including Joaquin Murietta and Juan Cortina. These figures weren’t always fighting on the side of the United States.


Photo: Movie poster for 1920 film The Mark of Zorro, courtesy of Wikipedia



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