Family Skypes for Homework Sessions Across Borders

Eight-year-old Kevin Alex Gallegos used to do homework with his dad in their Omaha home every night before his dad was deported, and although they are now 2,000 miles away, father and son found a way to do homework together via Skype.

“It’s really hard because you’re so close from the laptop or the phone but yet again so far away,” said Manny Alvarado.

Alex’s mother, Zulema, takes pictures of her son’s textbooks and sends them to her husband Manny via WhatsApp, a free mobile phone app for instant messaging.

“We read books together so whenever I do a mistake, he can look at the book and he can help me fix that problem,” Alex said. “I like doing homework with my dad a lot.”

Manny had been going to a cybercafé in a small Oaxacan town in the south of Mexico, paying 10 pesos per hour to talk to his family. He has recently spent his savings on a tablet so it’s easier for him to connect with his son every weeknight. Although Manny is using technology to stay connected, “it’s just not the same.”

#1548 – Family Values

For better or worse, we are all influenced by the people who made us who we are—our families. This week we hear stories about family ties and what makes us come together. One family bonds over outdoor adventures while trying to break a world record, while another family is in the business of elk whispering. We meet a man who makes the difficult choice to come out to his grandma and we explore whether multilingual people take on different personalities when they switch languages.

Featured image: Children playing in Buenos Aires, 1902 (Archivo General de la Nación Argentina)


Many families of immigrants who die in the US shoulder the burden and cost of shipping the remains of their loved ones back to the countries where they were born. Lauren Silverman reports that the costs of repatriation can run as high as $10,000.

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Lauren Silverman is a bilingual reporter and radio producer at National Public Radio in Washington D.C. She received the Gracie Allen Award from American Women in Radio and Television in 2005. She worked as a reporter at Michigan Radio while studying political science and Latin American studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has written and recorded pieces for American Public Media’s Marketplace, as well as National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Among the pieces she has reported and produced are stories on the artifacts left behind by undocumented migrants crossing the Sonoran desert; the changing face of America’s Chinatowns; and the transformation of a historic neighborhood in Compton, CA.

Noticiando: Familia es Familia

Ingrid Duran co-founded a newly launched campaign called “Familia es Familia,” aimed at fostering a greater acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people within the Latino Community. Host Maria Hinojosa talks with her and with Anthony Romero of American Civil Liberties Union.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Ingrid M. Duran is Co-Founder & Principal of D&P Creative Strategies, a company that she and partner Catherine founded in 2004 to increase the role of corporate, legislative and philanthropic efforts in addressing the concerns of Latinos, women, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) communities. Prior to starting D&P, Ingrid was President & CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where she expanded on an already extensive professional network that included members of Congress, elected officials and Fortune 500 executives.

Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. He took the helm of the organization just four days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Romero also led the ACLU in establishing the John Adams Project, a joint effort with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to assist the under-resourced military defense lawyers in the Guantánamo military commissions. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. He is a member of the New York Bar Association and has sat on numerous nonprofit boards.