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Latino USA

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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.
71 Episodes
Why do Latinos support Trump? Many people have asked this question since 2016, when, after launching his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists, Trump still won almost a third of the Latino vote. Polls indicate that Trump could do it again—or even increase his support among Latino voters in 2020. In this episode, we talk to historian Geraldo Cadava and to longtime Latino Republicans to understand why roughly a third of Latino voters have supported Republican presidential candidates ever since the 1970s.
The United States runs on migrant labor. That’s been the case for most of this country’s history, and the demand for cheap workers over the past two centuries led to waves of immigration from China, Japan, Europe, and Latin America, especially Mexico. This trend also led to the creation of the deportation machine. That’s how Adam Goodman, a professor of Latin American and Latino/a Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, describes the U.S.’s systemic efforts to expel noncitizens. In his recent book, "The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants", Goodman explores how today’s “country of immigrants” is built on a long history of deportation.
Thirty two million Latinos are eligible to vote this election – a record. But research suggests that, in battleground states, 57% of them are not going to cast ballots. Historically, Latino turnout has been lower than that of whites, Blacks and Asians. Many hoped things would be different this time around. Instead, traditional political strategies plus the challenges presented by COVID-19 made Latino voters a low priority again. Reporter Gisele Regatāo reports on how that is playing out in two key swing states, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa sits down with actor and entrepreneur Danny Trejo. Trejo has starred in over 300 films, often playing villains and tough guys of all sorts. He now runs Trejo's Tacos, Trejo's Cantina, and Trejo's Donuts in Los Angeles. He shares how he went from regular stints in prison to being one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces. This story originally aired in April of 2019.
It's a common sight in Puerto Rico—men in bright yellow T-shirts going door-to door-selling cakes. They're residents at Hogares CREA, Puerto Rico's biggest drug treatment program. Since CREA’s founding 1968, they've grown to a sprawling network of about 150 centers in Puerto Rico, the U.S. mainland and elsewhere in Latin America. But since the 1990s, the organization has been under fire for their methods. Latino USA takes a look at how this rehab empire built by a former heroin addict continues to be funded by millions of tax dollars, despite dozens of reported cases of physical and sexual abuse. This story originally aired in December of 2018.
Buscabulla is a Puerto Rican indie duo formed by wife and husband Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo del Valle. Around 2018, Buscabulla was one of the most beloved Latinx bands in New York City. Raquel and Luis had just released their second EP and confirmed a performance in that year’s Coachella music festival. Around this time of success, Raquel and Luis decided to move back to Puerto Rico. It was a significant life change, but one they were certain they wanted to make... as artists, and as new parents. In this segment of our "How I Made It" series, Raquel and Luis join us from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and they tell us about their debut album "Regresa."
The Matter Of Castro Tum

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, more than two years later, 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.
When cities across the country began going on lockdown in March, parents all over the U.S. had to scramble to balance taking care of their children, helping them with remote learning, while also working. Essential workers had to figure out who would watch their kids, and many of those same parents had to make difficult decisions. Seven months in, the mental load on parents continues to take its toll. Latino USA sits down with a group of mothers and fathers across the country to discuss how it has been going for them, how they’ve coped, and how they have found a silver lining parenting during the pandemic.
From Chicago To Oaxaca

From Chicago To Oaxaca


Back in March, Lili Ruiz moved out of New York City to reunite with her family in Chicago. As the first months of quarantine passed by, Lili’s family remained safe and kept in communication with their indigenous community in Oaxaca, Mexico. At the beginning of June, however, things would take a turn. Through intimate calls and memory descriptions, Lili takes us through a tumultuous summer with her family – from fighting bureaucracy to finding peace in the midst of grief.
Chicano Batman is out with their newest album "Invisible People," which celebrates diversity. The band from Southern California has been on an upward climb since forming in 2008, fusing a kind of vintage psychedelic rock with more traditional Latin American rhythms. With this album, the band explores something new as they play around with R&B, funky bass lines, and prog-rock. While the sound of Chicano Batman keeps evolving, their music has managed to stay true to what got them noticed in the first place. On this week's "How I Made It" segment, the band talks about their rise to the top, playing with beats, and how they were never pigeon-holed as a Latinx/alternative band.
Estrella, Revisited

Estrella, Revisited


In February of 2017, ICE agents arrested Estrella, an undocumented trans woman, inside an El Paso courthouse. Estrella was there after filing for a protective order, testifying in a domestic abuse hearing against her U.S. citizen ex-boyfriend. Her case became national news — it was the first time that federal immigration agents had ever arrested someone at court. Estrella was later sentenced to serve nine years behind bars for a non-violent crime that she has always maintained her abuser forced her to participate in. In this episode of Latino USA Estrella takes us into the maximum-security Texas men's prison where she is serving out her sentence. Through intimate phone conversation with Maria Hinojosa, we follow Estrella through her first years of incarceration — through the joys of transitioning and finally feeling at home in her body, to the dangers that come from being a woman in one of Texas' most infamous men's prisons. We also learn about a surprising accusation that puts Estrella's relationship with Maria at risk.
In the 1950s, singer and diva Yma Sumac took over the North American airwaves with her mystical voice. The Queen of Exotica and Inca Princess was said to cast a spell on anyone who came across her with her exotic look and nearly five-octave range. But while Yma Sumac rose to prominence across the globe, the Peruvian public in her home country, was not seduced by her song—or her representation of indigenous Peruvians. Today, Latino USA breaks down the phenomena behind one of the original divas, her conflicts and criticisms, and the impact of her legacy. This story originally aired in September of 2019.
Maria Hinojosa talks with reporter Jean Guerrero about her new book, "Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda," which chronicles the rise of one of President Trump's most influential advisors. Guerrero discusses Miller's California roots, the right-wing figures who mentored him as a young man, and how he's transformed the United States' immigration system.
Today, September 15th, marks the launch of Maria Hinojosa's new book, "Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America." So we are bringing you an extended version of the conversation Maria had with Lulu Garcia-Navarro for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. An edited version of this interview first aired on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday on September 13th.
Alzheimer's In Color

Alzheimer's In Color


Latino USA and Black Public Media bring you Alzheimer's In Color. It's the story of Ramona Latty, a Dominican immigrant, told by her daughter Yvonne, and it mirrors countless other families of color navigating a disease that is ravaging the Latino community. It's been four years now since Ramona was diagnosed. Four years of the lonely journey, which in the end her daughter walks alone, because her mom has no idea what day it is, how old she is or where she is. Ramona lives in a nursing home and COVID-19, and months of separation have accelerated the disease, and Yvonne's despair.
Can you tell us how to get to Sesame Street? Rosita can! In this installment of our How I Made It series, we visit the friendliest block on television to speak with the first full-time bilingual muppet on Sesame Street: Rosita, la Monstrua de las Cuevas. The fuzzy, turquoise-colored 5-year-old first appeared on the show nearly 30 years ago with muppeteer Carmen Osbahr, who helped create the muppet's bright look and personality. Rosita and Carmen talk about their journeys moving from Mexico to Sesame Street and revisit their greatest adventures after nearly 30 years on the show.
Colombian-Canadian singer-songwriter Lido Pimienta tells us how her experience of migration led to her love of Afro-Colombian music, how a beauty pageant and its underlying anti-blackness inspired her new album, and how she came to collaborate with the legendary Afro-Colombian ensemble, Sexteto Tabalá, in her track "Pelo Cucú."
In part two of our two-part special, we continue our investigation into the death of a man in a U.S. immigration detention center in 2015. José de Jesús turned himself into Border Patrol saying somebody was after him. Three days later, he died by suicide after stuffing a sock down his throat. In part two of this story, surveillance video reveals clues about what happened inside his cell, and an internal investigation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement answers many of our questions about what happened to José in the days leading up to his death. This story originally aired in July of 2016.
A man dies in a U.S. immigration detention center, under unusual circumstances. He is found unresponsive in his cell, with a sock stuffed down his throat. His death is ruled a suicide, but little information is put out about what happened, and the family wants answers. In this first part of a special two-part series, Latino USA investigates why José de Jesús died in the custody of the U.S. government, and what his death tells us about conditions—especially mental health services—inside the immigration detention system. This story originally aired in July of 2016.
José Ralat is the Taco Editor at Texas Monthly Magazine and consequently the only taco editor in the United States. In his book, "American Tacos: A History and Guide," Ralat dives into the evolution of tacos in the United States and its history in the borderlands. According to Ralat, tacos were introduced into the U.S. in the late 1800s. Since then, tacos have evolved into fusions —like Korean and Cajun tacos— as cultures blended with one another and chefs across the country experimented with different flavors. In this episode, Ralat gives us a brief history of the American taco and why eventually, all foods will make its way into a tortilla.
Comments (19)

Ivan Terrero

So Democrats have been in power in that area for how long?

Oct 18th

Western intellect

This is heartbreaking

Aug 9th

Western intellect

Interesting episode...

Aug 2nd

Jeannette Sanchez

I loved this episode. I've always heard stories about my great grandmother who was known as a powerful, feared, but respected witch in Guatemala. I know my mom carries a strong sense of intuition. I feel I also have this 6th sense, watered down, perhaps because I'm so American. I'd love to learn more about Latino intuition. After hearing this episode, I intend to do my research and explore the possibilities of my own inner power.

Apr 10th

Melissa Thaw

all time favorite episode

Dec 21st

Nance G.

E-ugenio not U-genio 😂

Oct 6th

Vickiana Franco

Thank you for sharing this side of the story! I struggle to find resources in English to educate me about Latino issues. This podcast is my staple for this.

Aug 13th
Reply (2)

Nance G.

This past few episodes have been edited very poorly. They usually skip backwards so at least you don't miss content but it's annoying.

Mar 12th

Evelyn J Herrea

The must an episode covering murdered and missing indigenous women and girls on both sides of the border. if not, someone should do that episode about how activist are fighting invisibility of native people and their issues.

Mar 12th

Orlando M.

great listen!

Feb 14th

Jeannette Sanchez

I didn't think Spaniards were considered Latino 😑

Jan 30th

Moises A. Plazola

Blades if said in spanish it has more soul. no mames Blades en English 2:28 jajjaa

Oct 19th


What about Mental Illness in the Latino community?

Aug 20th

katy dominguez

Love this episode! As a Latina woman who's parents chose not to speak to myself and my siblings in Spanish, this episode really hit home.

Jul 15th

Karen Resendiz

can you do more episodes regarding Mexico's upcoming election please?!

Jun 18th


are there donation opportunities for these students to receive help with funding tuition?

Jun 6th

Henry Martinez

Great job I felt compelled to thank you and be the first one to appreciate all of your hard work here!

Nov 11th
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