Mauricio Pérez and his boyfriend Jorge Alberto Alfaro González met on Facebook in El Salvador during the summer of 2015. After Mauricio's sister was killed by members of a gang and Jorge's young cousins were killed by a rival group, both of them became targets of repeated attacks and death threats. So by January of 2016, Jorge and Mauricio decided to flee the country. They both applied for asylum in Mexico. But only Jorge's application was approved, forcing them to navigate Mexico's complex asylum system. This episode was originally aired on June 23, 2017.
Arturo Castro is a Guatemalan actor and writer best known for playing "Jaime" on Comedy Central's "Broad City" and cartel leader David Rodriguez on Netflix's "Narcos." Now, after a decade in the business, Castro is taking the lead and starring in his own sketch show on Comedy Central. "Alternatino with Arturo Castro" is about Castro's identity as an immigrant and navigating life as a Latinx millennial. We sit down with Arturo Castro to talk about how he got his start in comedy and how he draws on the cultural and political moment in writing sketches for his new show.
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.
Latino USA continues its coverage of the field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination with a conversation with Senator Cory Booker. Booker has come a long way since 1995 when, while attending law school at Yale, he moved to Newark to help the community, later moving to a housing project where he lived for a number of years before it was demolished. He became mayor of the New Jersey city in 2006, then went on to become a U.S. senator. Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa sits down with Cory Booker for a candid conversation on immigration policy and his response to critics—and, he even shares his feelings for his girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson.
27-year-old Laura Molinar was in medical school in Chicago, when she was flooded with news about the family separation crisis. Born and raised in San Antonio, Molinar felt moved to action—so she started Sueños Sin Fronteras, an organization to bring medical professionals to shelters on the border. While volunteering, Laura began to notice a need among the migrant women there—for access to birth control and emergency contraception. There was just one concern: the shelter was run by a Catholic organization with historically conservative views. Molinar began to provide reproductive healthcare, but discretely, wrestling with her own background growing up Catholic and the views of her family and the organization she works with.
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.
Since the beginning of the Trump administration, the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration policy have been front and center in public conversation. However, while the increased attention may seem new, 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.
Huntsville, Alabama has a small, but growing Latino population. It's where Teresa Matias, a single working immigrant mother from Guatemala, lived with five sons. In 2015, Teresa joined a local Catholic church and baptized her sons, and found them godparents. The godparents of her youngest son, would take a special liking to him. Over the next year, a series of events would begin to unravel—in which the godparents got lawyers and judges involved—eventually resulting in Teresa giving up complete parental rights to her youngest son. But in all these meetings, Teresa, who knows only a few words in English and grew up speaking a Mayan language, never had a proper interpreter. Latino USA chronicles Teresa's story and how she ended up making a life-changing decision without full consent and proper translation.
Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and award-winning author. Her debut young adult novel "The Poet X" made the New York Times bestseller list in 2018. This May, Acevedo released her second novel "With the Fire on High," which tells the story of an Afro-Latina who dreams of becoming a chef. We sit down with Elizabeth Acevedo to talk about how storytelling became an important part of her life, her identity, and the impact of her success.
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. Which led her to ask herself: do Latinos cry more that other people, on average? Thus began her strange and lachrymose journey into the world of crying. This podcast was first released on February 9, 2018.