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Latino USA

Futuro Media and PRX

Society & Culture

4.93.6K Ratings

Overview

Latino USA offers insight into the lived experiences of Latino communities and is a window on the current and merging cultural, political and social ideas impacting Latinos and the nation.

399 Episodes

Toxic Labor

This is a special episode by Futuro Investigates, in collaboration with The Center For Public Integrity and Columbia Journalism Investigations. In the absence of federal or state data showing how many disaster restoration workers get sick every year because of their labor, we document for the first time how prolonged exposure to dangerous toxins affects the health of workers who clean and rebuild American cities after natural disasters.

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2024

How I Made It: Flor De Toloache

When Mireya Ramos found herself subject to scrutiny and machismo as the only woman mariachi singer in the male-dominated mariachi circles, she decided to do something about it. So she founded Flor De Toloache in 2008, the first all-female mariachi in New York City. The Latin Grammy winning group's new album, 'Indestructible' features beautiful harmonies and creative fusions that go beyond traditional mariachi. Today, we hear from core members of the group who describe how they came to be and how the sisterhood they have formed, made them.This episode originally aired in October of 2019.

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

Mimy and Tony Succar: Music Is Better With Family

Mimy Succar arrived with her family in Miami over three decades ago, she had three kids and a dream. A talented singer and performer from a young age, she was born in Peru to a Japanese family and maintained the traditions of her grandparents. Together with her husband Antonio, they had a band who played throughout Lima. But in the late 80s, they didn’t see a future for their family and moved to Miami with their children, Claudia, Tony and Kenji. The children began showing interest in the band at a young age, and Tony won Producer of the Year in 2019 at the Latin Grammys. Their collaboration, Mimy and Tony, was nominated for a Grammy in 2024. The critically acclaimed album includes collaborations with heavy hitters like La India, Orquesta de la Luz, and Jose Alberto “El Canario.”In this episode of Latino USA, Mimy and Tony show us how, with the right timing and your family, nothing can get in the way.

Transcribed - Published: 2 April 2024

Will Abortion Rights Energize the Latino Vote?

Two years ago, the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, creating a cascade of harmful abortion bans and restrictions. But from Colorado to Florida, Latinas are fighting back for their bodily autonomy and a chance to reframe abortion as a human rights issue.In this episode, we speak with three Latinas on the front lines of reproductive justice: Lourdes Rivera, President of Pregnancy Justice, Stephanie Loraine Piñeiro, Executive Director at the Florida Access Network, and América Ramírez, Program Manager at the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights. Together, they help us understand the increasing criminalization of pregnant people—especially women of color— and how all of these restrictions are impacting how we vote.

Transcribed - Published: 29 March 2024

Sandy's Pandemic Diaries

Sandy Fleurimond, a first generation Haitian-American student at Temple University in Philadelphia, was looking forward to her senior year of college. She dreamed of studying abroad and graduating in a field full of friends and family. But being a college student in 2020, meant that many of these long-awaited milestones didn't go according to plan. In collaboration with Philly Audio Diaries, Sandy shares her story of loss and growth after the pandemic flipped her senior year of college upside down. This episode originally aired in September of 2021.

Transcribed - Published: 26 March 2024

Alex Padilla, From California to Capitol Hill

It was an anti-immigrant initiative in his home state of California that pushed Alex Padilla into politics, now he is making history as the first Latino to represent California in the U.S. Senate. In an extended interview with Padilla, Maria Hinojosa asks the senator about Prop 187, the controversial 1994 ballot measure that politicized Padilla, and many other Latinos of his generation. They also discuss the senator’s career-long focus on voting rights, and the threats they face today. This episode originally aired in May of 2021.

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2024

Samanta Schweblin’s Unsettling Normality

In her work, Argentine author Samanta Schweblin explores the feeling of eeriness that accompanied her childhood. Samanta was born in Buenos Aires in 1978, just after the start of a violent dictatorship. But, while violence surrounded her growing up, there was also art: her grandfather was a famous artist who began to train her as a writer when she was six years old. Together they took trips, stole books, rode the train without tickets and went to plays and museums—all in the name of artistic training. It worked. Samanta’s work has been translated into 25 languages and long-listed for the International Booker Prize. In this episode, Samanta shares the origins of her fascination with the blurry lines between our perceptions of what’s normal and what’s strange.

Transcribed - Published: 12 March 2024

Toñita's Club Fights Erasure

When you enter the Caribbean Social Club, or Toñita’s, it feels like you could be in your grandmother’s living room. And that’s exactly what its owner, Maria Antonia Cay —better known as Toñita— was aiming for when she opened the club in the 1970s as a gathering place for the local baseball team. 50 years later, Toñita’s is still standing in Los Sures, the south side of Williamsburg—the most gentrified neighborhood in New York City. Yet over the years, Toñita has faced ever greater challenges to keep her club open. In this episode of Latino USA, we follow Toñita through her latest hurdle, a court battle, and we learn about how the Puerto Rican community in Los Sures has kept culture alive.

Transcribed - Published: 8 March 2024

The Unmarked Graveyard: Stories from Hart Island

This week, Latino USA shares an episode of The Unmarked Graveyard: Stories from Hart Island podcast. When Annette Vega was in elementary school, she found out the man she called “dad” wasn’t her biological father. But all she knew was that her mom had had a teenage romance with a guy named Angel Garcia. Annette has searched for Angel for more than 30 years, a search that is finally coming to the end. “The Unmarked Graveyard: Stories from Hart Island" is a new series from Radio Diaries that tells the stories of seven people buried on Hart Island through a range of circumstances. Hart Island, an uninhabited strip of land off the Bronx is America's largest public cemetery, sometimes known as a "potter's field." Since 1869, more than a million people have been buried on Hart Island, including early AIDS patients, unidentified and unclaimed New Yorkers, immigrants, incarcerated people, artists, and about ten percent of New Yorkers who died of COVID-19. You can hear the entire series on the Radio Diaries podcast here.

Transcribed - Published: 5 March 2024

Latino Hustle: Oscars 2024

The 96th Oscars ceremony is a new opportunity for Latinos and Latin Americans in the moviemaking business to be recognized for excellence in cinema. America Ferrera has earned her first Oscar nomination and Colman Domingo has become the first Afro-Latino nominated for best actor. And yet, representation of Latinos on the big screen has remained stagnant. But there are several Latinos and Latin Americans nominated who you may not have heard anything about yet. We spoke to Andes survivor Roberto Canessa and actor Matias Recalt from “The Society of the Snow;” director Maite Alberdi from “The Eternal Memory;” and producer Phil Lord from “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Editorial note: This interview was recorded in early February.

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2024

Myriam Gurba Unmasks the Creeps

Myriam Gurba is a writer and artist from California. Her most recent work is a collection of essays named “Creep: Accusations and Confessions.” In her book “Creep,” Myriam examines individual creeps, as well as how creeps exist in the larger systems and environments that protect them. In this episode of Latino USA, we hear author Myriam Gurba read from “Creep: Accusations and Confessions” and talk about why it’s important to unmask the creeps.

Transcribed - Published: 27 February 2024

Javier Zamora on the Role of a Writer in Today’s World.

Javier Zamora is a writer who believes he has a particular responsibility: to understand and also change the world through words. He comes from a tradition of poets in El Salvador who used poetry to denounce injustices, the “Generación Comprometida,” and his personal experience of migrating as a child alone to the United States has shaped his worldview. In his work, Javier has shared some of the most intimate and difficult moments of his own history, first in the award-winning poetry collection “Unaccompanied” and then in the New York Times best-selling memoir “Solito.” In this intimate conversation, Javier shares what it was like to return to those painful episodes in his writing, the complicated relationship he has with El Salvador, and what he hopes the role of poets and writers could be in these turbulent times.

Transcribed - Published: 23 February 2024

The Matter of Castro Tum

In 2018, a young Guatemalan man named Reynaldo Castro Tum was ordered deported even though no one in the U.S. government knew where he was, or how to find him. Now, his unusual journey through the United States' immigration system has sucked another man back into a legal quagmire he thought that he'd escaped. This episode follows both of their stories and the fateful moment they collided. This episode originally aired in October 2020.

Transcribed - Published: 16 February 2024

Finding Legitimacy With Aida Rodriguez

If you’ve ever been to an Aida Rodriguez comedy show you’ve probably heard Aida crack jokes about her family, her upbringing, race, politics, everyday life and Latinos. She recently published a memoir called “Legitimate Kid: A Memoir.” In this episode of Latino USA, we hear Aida Rodriguez talk about, and read from her memoir and we get a front row seat to one of her recent comedy shows in New York City.

Transcribed - Published: 6 February 2024

Sec. Xavier Becerra on Health, Immigration and Latino Representation

The Department of Health and Human Services oversees several agencies: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement are just a few of them. But since its founding in 1953, HHS had never been led by a Latino, until now. Maria Hinojosa sits down with the first Latino to lead the department, Xavier Becerra. They discuss mental health, Latino representation in the Biden-Harris White House, immigration, and more. Editorial note: This interview was recorded in early December.

Transcribed - Published: 2 February 2024

Portrait Of: Sandra Cisneros LIVE in Chicago

Sandra Cisneros doesn't need an introduction. Her coming-of-age novel, "The House on Mango Street," has sold over six million copies and has turned the Chicago native into a household name. Earlier this year, the Mexican-American author joined Maria Hinojosa for a live conversation at the Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. The conversation was part of WBEZ's Podcast Passport series, in partnership with Vocalo Radio. In this live and intimate conversation, Sandra Cisneros reflects on her past, present and the legacy she hopes to leave behind. This episode originally aired in June of 2019.

Transcribed - Published: 30 January 2024

A Conversation With Jeh Johnson

Since the beginning of the Trump administration, the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration policy have been front and center in public conversation. However, a humanitarian crisis at the border is nothing new. Jeh Johnson was the Secretary of Homeland Security during President Obama’s second term, from late 2013 to 2017. He ran the agency during a tense period—when tens of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children and families were arriving at the border to claim asylum. Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa sits down with Jeh Johnson for a candid, and at times tense, conversation about the legacy of immigration policies implemented while he was in office. This episode originally aired in June of 2019.

Transcribed - Published: 26 January 2024

Pepón Osorio’s Accumulation of Memory

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Pepón Osorio never thought that decorating the wedding cakes his mother made would spark his passion for art and his signature big installations full of tiny objects, sounds and memories. In 2023, the New Museum in New York City hosted Osorio’s most comprehensive exhibition to date. In this episode of Latino USA, we tour the exhibition with Pepón, and we learn about how he found a home in the Bronx, switched careers from social worker to full-time artist, and developed a passion for collecting objects.

Transcribed - Published: 23 January 2024

Eugenio Derbez Gets Serious

Eugenio Derbez is a Mexican actor, writer, director and producer who got his start at the forefront of many comedy series in his home country. After decades of making families laugh across Latin America, Eugenio reinvented himself in Hollywood. In recent years he played the role of a music teacher in the movie “CODA,” which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2022. In 2023, Eugenio returned to Mexico to star in “Radical,” his first leading dramatic role. In this episode of Latino USA, Eugenio talks about “Radical,” the challenges and joys of reinventing himself in a new country, and working to change the narrative about Latinos in Hollywood.

Transcribed - Published: 19 January 2024

Monumental

This week Latino USA shares an episode of the Monumental podcast, from PRX. For generations, Christopher Columbus has been glorified in monument after monument across the United States. And while Columbus statues have recently started coming down, including in cities like Columbus, Ohio, the largest one in the world is standing tall —very, very tall… in a U.S. territory— the beach town of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. In this episode, reporter and journalism professor Gisele Regatão travels to Puerto Rico and beyond to uncover the roots of Columbus’ glorification in U.S. history and why he came to be represented in so many public statues—even though he never actually set foot on the U.S. mainland. And she visits a community artist in Woodside, Queens, who is confronting the myth of Columbus by creating new monuments that celebrate immigrant stories. You can subscribe to Monumental here.

Transcribed - Published: 16 January 2024

Maria Martin, With Love and Light

A special episode remembering Latino USA founder and pioneer public radio journalist Maria Emilia Martin, who passed away on December 2nd, 2023. After a career in public media of almost 50 years, Maria left a mark as a journalist, educator, and tireless advocate for Latinos, Latinas, and Indigenous voices in journalism in the United States and Latin America. In this hour, we hear from journalists who knew and were mentored by Maria Martin and we present some of the extraordinary and award-winning reporting she did throughout her career.

Transcribed - Published: 12 January 2024

Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes

This week Latino USA shares an episode of the podcast, Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes, from LAist Studios. Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes tells the story of the biggest political scandal in recent Los Angeles history. A secret recording leaked online in 2022 exposed then-LA City Council President Nury Martinez making racist and derogatory remarks. A year after the scandal, host Antonia Cereijido challenges Nury on her racist comments and the deeper systemic issues of race and politics in an exclusive interview. From LAist Studios, Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes, available wherever you get your podcasts. You can subscribe to Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes here.

Transcribed - Published: 19 December 2023

Still Hopeful: Immigration Over 30 Years

Latino USA continues to mark its 30th anniversary and look back at its reporting throughout the last three decades. On today’s show we look at immigration, then and now. Maria Hinojosa is joined by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, immigration and politics reporter for CBS; Natalia Aristizabal, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York; and Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. Together, they discuss immigration policies from the last 30 years.

Transcribed - Published: 15 December 2023

The Gun Machine

The Gun Machine is a new podcast from WBUR in partnership with The Trace, exploring the 250-year history of one of the most tragic and confounding forms of addiction in America: guns. Listen to all eight episodes wherever you get your podcasts. You can subscribe to The Gun Machine here.

Transcribed - Published: 12 December 2023

A Night With Monsieur Periné

As part of our 30th anniversary celebrations, we bring you a taste of a very special evening with the Colombian band Monsieur Periné—hosted at the Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR. Catalina García and Santiago Prieto play songs from their latest award-winning album, “Bolero Apocalíptico”, and chat with Latino USA’s senior producer Marta Martinez about how they mix classic and modern influences, their love for their Colombian roots and how they found inspiration in the pandemic.

Transcribed - Published: 5 December 2023

The Archivists: The Unseen Fight to Preserve Our Stories

After months of working closely with the archivists and librarians of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas in Austin, the Latino USA team wanted to dig deeper into the history and treasures in the library. The Benson has been around for more than a hundred years, and it’s one of the most important institutions in the world collecting the history and stories of Latin America and U.S Latinas and Latinos. But, that history comes with some baggage. In this episode of Latino USA, we look at some of the objects that connect the Benson to the past, and we explore its complicated history, along with possibilities for how the library can move into the future.

Transcribed - Published: 1 December 2023

United Stateless Podcast

This week Latino USA brings you an episode of the United Stateless Podcast. United Stateless Podcast documents the stories of "returnees", people who immigrated to the US, largely as children, and have since returned to their home country. In the first season, we focus on Mexico. It's a story of life, love, Spanglish, culture shock, missing bagels, and figuring out where home really is. In this episode, what, exactly, is Mexico? And what's it like to actually grow up there? And why is Alexandra so interested in all of this? Subscribe to the United Stateless Podcast here.

Transcribed - Published: 28 November 2023

By Right of Discovery

On Thanksgiving Day, hundreds of people gather on Alcatraz Island, the famous former prison and one of the largest tourist attractions in San Francisco, for a sunrise ceremony to honor Indigenous culture and history. Fifty years ago, an intertribal group of students and activists took over the island for over 16 months in an act of political resistance. Richard Oakes, a young Mohawk from New York, was one of the leaders in this movement dubbed the "Red Power Movement." Latino USA tells the story of Richard Oakes' life, from his first involvement in activism to his untimely death at the age of 30. This episode originally aired in November 2018.

Transcribed - Published: 24 November 2023

Bad Mexicans: Borderland History that Resonates Today

At the turn of the 20th century, revolution was starting to brew in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. A group of Mexican revolutionaries had fled to the United States and were working to overthrow a dictator in their home country. They were called Los Magonistas, and both the U.S. and Mexican governments put all of their efforts to spy on them and suppress their revolution. In this episode, historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez tells the story of this cross-border insurgency that has been left out of most U.S. history books and shares how it continues to shape border enforcement as we know it today.

Transcribed - Published: 21 November 2023

Dolores Huerta: Don’t Let the Haters Divide Us

Latino USA continues to celebrate 30 years of being on the air, as well as bringing you important conversations as part of our ongoing political coverage. For this episode, Maria Hinojosa sits down with legendary labor leader and civil rights activist, Dolores Huerta. They speak about politics, the current state of organizing, sex and passion, and much more. Editorial note: This interview was recorded in September of 2023 before the current crisis in Gaza began.

Transcribed - Published: 17 November 2023

Gustavo Dudamel’s Harmony in Times of Crisis

Gustavo Dudamel is one of the most famous and acclaimed conductors in the world. He’s been the Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2009, when he was just 27 years old. El maestro is the best-known graduate of El Sistema, Venezuela’s national youth music education program. In the years since, Dudamel made a name for himself conducting world-famous orchestras, running his own arts charity — The Gustavo Dudamel Foundation — and founding the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles. Even amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dudamel has been living up to his personal passion of finding creative ways to play and expand access to music, all while stressing the importance of staying in touch with his Venezuelan roots. In this episode of Latino USA, Dudamel talks about staying indoors, calling family home, and his belief that music will inspire a stronger future for all. This episode originally aired in February of 2021.

Transcribed - Published: 10 November 2023

Classy with Jonathan Menjivar

This week Latino USA brings you an episode of the podcast, Classy with Jonathan Menjivar. In this episode, we can’t talk about class without talking about race. Through eye-opening conversations with two people of color in the fashion industry, Jonathan realizes some hard truths about the ways he’s adapted in order to blend in. And he reveals how one small, but bold act is helping him to reclaim his cultural identity. You can subscribe to Classy with Jonathan Menjivar here.

Transcribed - Published: 7 November 2023

Kamala and the Latino Youth Vote

Maria Hinojosa and Latino USA producer Reynaldo Leaños Jr. join Vice President Kamala Harris aboard Air Force Two as the vice president makes her way to Miami, Florida, as part of her “Fight For Our Freedoms” college tour. Later, Maria sits down with Vice President Harris for a one-on-one interview where they discuss young Latino voters’ participation, reproductive rights, immigration, and more.

Transcribed - Published: 3 November 2023

City of Oil

Los Angeles, you might be surprised to learn, sits on top of the largest urban oil field in the country and has been the site of oil extraction for almost 150 years. Today, nearly 5,000 oil wells remain active in Los Angeles County alone, many operating in communities of color, often very close to homes, schools, and hospitals. Latino USA visits a neighborhood in South Los Angeles, the epicenter of an anti-oil-drilling movement that is gaining momentum. We meet Nalleli Cobo, the 18-year-old who’s working to shut down the oil industry, one well at a time. This episode originally aired in June of 2019.

Transcribed - Published: 27 October 2023

The Art of Growing Into Yourself With Y La Bamba

Luz Elena Mendoza Ramos is a Chicanx artist and musician who has been playing under the name Y La Bamba for nearly 20 years. As the child of immigrant parents, Luz Elena struggled to feel seen in the music industry, but as they’ve continued making music, they have grown into their identity as an artist. Last year, Luz Elena moved back to Mexico City to explore where they come from. That search also led to the publication of their seventh studio album — “Lucha” — and to Y La Bamba playing their first show ever in Mexico City. In this episode, Luz Elena shares why playing that show was so important to them and reflects on their path toward becoming more themselves.

Transcribed - Published: 24 October 2023

My Uncle Juan, the Bracero

In this episode of Latino USA, historian Mireya Loza and her uncle and former bracero Juan Loza meet at his home in Chicago to reflect on the legacy of the long-running and controversial labor Bracero Program and its impact on their family.

Transcribed - Published: 20 October 2023

How I Made It: Grupo Fantasma Takes On The Wall

When Austin's cumbia-funk institution Grupo Fantasma went to record their seventh album at a studio in Tornillo, Texas, they had no idea that right next door was a tent city for detained immigrant youth operated by ICE. When they found out, they decided they had to do something. So they teamed up with fellow legends Ozomatli and Locos Por Juana to create a sinister funk tune with a message about the walls that divide us. On this edition of How I Made It, members of Grupo Fantasma break down the creative process behind their new song "The Wall."

Transcribed - Published: 17 October 2023

When Alaska's Snow Crab Went Missing

In 2022, the Bering Sea snow crab season was canceled for the first time in history. Essentially 10 billion snow crabs went missing. The cause? Warming waters due to climate change. In this episode, Latino USA producer Reynaldo Leaños Jr. travels to Kodiak, Alaska to see how a fishing community is trying to stay afloat as climate change disrupts their industry—and lives.

Transcribed - Published: 6 October 2023

Caliber 60

This week Latino USA brings you an episode of the Caliber 60 podcast. Avocado consumption has exploded in the U.S. over the past decade. But what’s rarely seen is the rotten underbelly of this industry, controlled by armed groups in Mexico who use smuggled weapons from the U.S. to keep control over this lucrative business. Meet Linda, who lives in Ixtaro, a small avocado producer town. She experienced unimaginable horrors while under the siege of narcos. You can subscribe to Caliber 60 here.

Transcribed - Published: 3 October 2023

Mary’s Journey

One in four women in the United States have a family member in prison—and those carrying the resulting financial and emotional burden are disproportionately women of color. Mary Estrada is one of them. She’s been taking care of her husband Robert for 40 years, as he’s been in and out of prison throughout his adult life. Most Sundays, Mary wakes up at 3 a.m. and drives 135 miles each way from Pomona, California to San Diego to meet her incarcerated husband. In this episode of Latino USA, we accompany Mary on one of her Sunday visits, and we learn about the true costs of supporting a loved one in prison.

Transcribed - Published: 29 September 2023

Portrait Of: Miguel

“Too proper for the Black kids, too Black for the Mexicans," sings Grammy award-winning artist Miguel Pimentel. Miguel is the son of an African-American mother and a Mexican-born father. He's known for his eclectic sound, shaped by his home: Los Angeles. This year, he’ll release a deluxe version of his album, 'War & Leisure,' which will include songs in Spanish. It was inspired by a trip to Zamora, where he met his family in Mexico for the first time. Maria Hinojosa talks to the singer-songwriter about his life-changing trip and how his multicultural upbringing influenced his unique sound. This episode originally aired in July 2018.

Transcribed - Published: 26 September 2023

It’s My Podcast and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Five years ago, Latino USA producer Antonia Cereijido was only an intern and still in college when she did what a lot of people do when they're not sure what their life will look like after graduation: she cried in the bathroom. After wiping her eyes and returning to her desk, she tried to comfort herself by calculating how many other Latinos had cried at the same time she had. This led her to ask herself: do Latinos cry more than other people, on average? Thus began her strange and lachrymose journey into the world of crying. This episode originally aired on Feb 9, 2018.

Transcribed - Published: 19 September 2023

Belonging, Recruitment, and Remembrance

Latino USA continues to mark its 30th anniversary and look back on its reporting throughout the decades. One topic the show has heavily reported on is Latinos serving in the military and today we take a new look at that subject. In this episode, producer Reynaldo Leaños Jr. travels to Laredo, Texas on the U.S.-Mexico border. He brings us the story of Lance Corporal David Lee Espinoza, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2021 during the U.S. withdrawal from the country. Reynaldo meets with those closest to David to help tell the story of who David was, as well as explore how the military has historically —and continues— to seek Latinos and Latinas to fill its ranks.

Transcribed - Published: 15 September 2023

Ballet Brothers

Brothers Isaac and Esteban Hernández have performed on some of the most prestigious stages in the world. But their journey to the top rank of their industry had a unique start. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Isaac and Esteban's first ballet teacher was their father, Héctor, and their first ballet studio was their home’s backyard. Last year, they became the first siblings to achieve the rank of principal dancer for the San Francisco Ballet.

Transcribed - Published: 12 September 2023

The Revolutions of Gioconda Belli

Gioconda Belli is an award-winning Nicaraguan author. She has published novels, essays, poetry collections, and a memoir called “The country under my skin,” which recounts her time as a member of the Sandinista National Liberation Front—fighting to free her country from a dictatorship. Now, 40 years after the Sandinista victory, Gioconda finds herself living in exile and unable to return to Nicaragua. She was recently stripped of her citizenship by the person who once was her comrade: President Daniel Ortega. In this episode of Latino USA, Gioconda talks about her long history of standing up to dictators, what she finds revolutionary in writing, and what hopes she still has for the future of Nicaragua.

Transcribed - Published: 8 September 2023

At the Mercy of the Courts

In this episode of Latino USA we partner up with Documented, a nonprofit news site that covers immigrants in New York City, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the experience of trying to navigate the immigration courts as an asylum-seeker under the Trump Administration. We follow the story of Wendy and Elvis, Guatemalan newlyweds who flee violent extortion threats only to find themselves in a maddening and punishing U.S. court system that is now the norm for immigrants seeking safety. This episode originally aired in March 2020.

Transcribed - Published: 1 September 2023

How I Made It: Joe Kay of Soulection

Soulection is a music startup, which has quickly grown to be a powerhouse with a record label, a popular radio show, and worldwide tours—bringing together an international group of music lovers. It all began as an online podcast created in a garage in Southern California. At the time, Joe Kay was a college student who was looking to bring independent artists, DJs, and producers to fresh ears. Today, co-founder Joe Kay reflects on Soulection's grassroots beginnings and its impact on the music scene. The episode originally aired in 2019.

Transcribed - Published: 22 August 2023

‘I Want to Outlive AIDS’

Producer Patricia Sulbarán embarks on a journey to learn how Latino USA covered the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as part of the show’s 30th anniversary special coverage. After reviewing hundreds of archival clips, Patricia finds a woman leading the fight against stigma in the 1990s. It was actress, lawyer and activist Ilka Tanya Payán. This episode dives into Ilka’s life and overlooked legacy, as well as the wider reality of lack of treatment for HIV-positive women back then. Today, activist Aracelis Quiñones carries Ilka’s legacy, advising her community on the challenges of aging with HIV.

Transcribed - Published: 18 August 2023

Judith Baca’s Great Wall

Muralist Judith F. Baca is mostly known for creating one of the largest communal murals in the world: the Great Wall of Los Angeles. It extends for half a mile along the Tujunga Wash river channel in the San Fernando Valley and it tells the story of California from its pre-Columbian origins until the 1950s. The project involved more than 400 Latino and Black youth from underserved neighborhoods. They started painting in the 1970s, but in the mid-80s they ran out of money. Until now: Judith has recently resumed work on the Great Wall. Latino USA visited her in her studio in Venice.

Transcribed - Published: 15 August 2023

Meg Medina: Let Kids Read Freely

Earlier this year, award-winning author Meg Medina was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature—she’s the first Latina to occupy this position. In her role, Meg’s responsible for raising awareness of the importance of young people’s literature, something that is now more crucial than ever, as efforts to ban books in schools and public libraries are on the rise. Throughout her career, Meg has made it her mission to create and champion literature for children and young adults that speaks to their realities. She doesn’t shy away from incorporating complex or difficult topics in her stories—from grandparents with Alzheimer’s or bullies in school. Meg believes that children and young people are experts in their own experiences and can be trusted to read freely and share their own stories. In this conversation with Maria Hinojosa, Meg Medina gets deep about identity, family, and what we lose when we don't see stories that reflect ourselves and our realities.

Transcribed - Published: 11 August 2023

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