This week, NPR reported that "nearly a quarter of all elementary students in the country are now Latino." This is just one more reflection of the changes contributed by this growing population in countless industries across the United States. Over the past 20 years, NPR's Latino USA has helped us navigate those changes by providing a rich understanding of the Latino experience in this country through news and culture reporting, and dialogue on issues facing diverse communities. Four-time Emmy-award winning journalist Maria Hinojosa has been at the helm of this program since its launch, so as Latino USA expands into a new chapter we're excited to share some of her story.
My name... Maria Hinojosa (but really it's María de Lourdes Hinojosa Ojeda)
Public radio employee since... 1985 (on & off)
Public radio listener since... 1977
My job is... to tell the truth. I'm the Executive Producer and Anchor of Latino USA on NPR, and founder and CEO of The Futuro Media Group, which produces the show.
My favorite Latino USA moment was... most recently, interviewing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. And watching the staff of the new Latino USA blossom. I am so proud of them!
When I go on air, I always have... my Grether's Pastilles.
I've learned the most about radio from... doing live radio as a college DJ at WKCR-FM in NYC.
I'm not as... tall ...as I sound.
I wanted to be... a flight attendant when I was 7 years old—I gave up on that one quickly! After that, I wanted to be an actress.
If I could share a coffee with anyone, it would be... Martin Luther King, Jr.
My next gadget will be... a bird feeder that really can withstand the squirrels (I have a small cottage in Connecticut where my family and I escape to be with nature).
I can't live without... besides my family, dark chocolate and popcorn and nature.
Listening is most important when... you're with your kids.
I always smile when... I land back home from wherever I've been.
In my suitcase, you'll find... a travel pillow (actually a camping pillow, not one of those silly around-your-neck things), a candle (for hotel rooms), some sort of workout clothes, even If I don't end up using them—a girl can always dream!
Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me that... fewer people are voting with every year that passes.
Tell Me More about... love and the possibility of hope.
I make it a point to never miss... a moment in a day when I look at the world with awe and wonder and feel re-invigorated in my love for humanity.
Ask Me Another question about... some of the amazing people who I meet who are unsung heroes and are invisible in our country