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Latino USA


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.

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.


New York, NY




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.






361 West 125th Street Fourth Floor New York, NY 10027 646-571-1220


Ilia Calderón: My Skin Color Doesn't Define Me

Ilia Calderón was still a little girl when she first experienced racism. But being rejected by part of her native Colombia's society would not deter her from following her dreams. She became the anchor of a national news network in Colombia and, after joining Univision in Miami, the first Afro-Latina to host a national newscast in the U.S. Listen to Ilia as she tells us about her debut book, her journey to becoming a prominent journalist, and what it's like to raise a mixed-race child.


How I Made It: La Doña

Cecilia Peña-Govea who calls herself La Doña, grew up in the Mission District in San Francisco. She started playing music in her family's band at just seven years old. Now, she's blazing her own musical path and keeping the city she grew up in at the heart of her work. In her debut EP “Algo Nuevo” she touches on love, heartbreak, and rising rent. In this edition of our “How I Made It” series La Doña breaks down one of her new songs “Cuando Se Van” and talks about taking her fears and turning...


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. In 1969, 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...


Kate's Summer

The summer of 2020 was filled with uncertainty as more than 20 million people in the U.S. were left unemployed — including Kate Bustamante’s parents. Bustamante is a 20-year-old student at Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, California. She’s always worked part-time and attended school as long as she can remember. But this summer was different. Overnight, Bustamante dropped out of classes and became her family’s breadwinner. In this personal piece Bustamante, through diary recordings and...


Portrait Of: Gloria Estefan

Gloria Maria Milagrosa Fajardo Garcia was a shy, quiet young woman who joined a band named the Miami Latin Boys. Although she had no plans of international fame, and intended to continue her studies, life had different plans for her. The Miami Latin Boys became The Miami Sound Machine, Emilio and Gloria married, and the newlywed, Gloria Estefan began to take over the spotlight. The rest, is music history. In this Portrait Of: Gloria Estefan, Latino USA sits down with the icon to discuss her...


How I Made It: From Foster Kid to Judge

When she was nine years-old, Xiomara Torres fled the civil war in her home country of El Salvador and came to the U.S. As a child she adjusted to her new life in East Los Angeles before she was removed from her family and put into foster care—where she spent six years of her life moving from home to home. Now, she's the subject of a local play in Oregon titled, "Judge Torres." In this edition of “How I Made It,” Judge Torres shares how she overcame the hurdles of the foster system and made...


The Myth Of The 'Latino Vote'

A major lesson from the 2020 election is one that Latinos already know: The idea of a single “Latino vote” is a myth. Latinos and Latinas throughout the United States draw from different histories that have shaped their different policy interests, ideologies, and personal experiences—and that all inform how they ultimately cast their ballots. President Trump won Florida, including nearly half of all Latinx-identifying voters in the state. But across the country in Arizona, grassroots groups...


How I Made It: Las Cafeteras

Las Cafeteras are a band out of East LA that met while doing community organizing. They began playing at the Eastside Cafe, where they discovered Son Jarocho, traditional Afro-Mexican music from Veracruz. They quickly began to adapt the music to their realities fusing it with hip hop, rock, ska, and spoken word. They are known for their politically charged lyrics, speaking out against injustices within the immigrant community and their experiences as chicanos in East LA. On today’s “How I...


Reclaiming Our Homes

On March 14th of 2020, Martha Escudero and her two daughters became the first of a dozen unhoused families to occupy one of over a hundred vacant houses in El Sereno, Los Angeles. Some call them squatters, but they call themselves the Reclaimers. The houses the Reclaimers are occupying actually belong to a state agency that purchased the houses in the 1960’s in order to demolish them and build a freeway through this largely Latinx and immigrant neighborhood. This is the story of one of these...


The American Dream Daughter: A Conversation With Author Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

On paper, author Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is the poster child for the American Dream. She’s a Harvard graduate, a Yale Ph.D. candidate, and, now, a 2020 National Book Award finalist for her debut book, “The Undocumented Americans.” As a child, Villavicencio’s parents left her in their native Ecuador while they worked in the U.S., a period that continues to shape her and her work today. From parent-child separation to the stigma of mental health among the Latinx community, Villavicencio...


A Third Of The Latino Vote

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...


Breaking Down The U.S. Deportation Machine

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...


Why Campaigns Fail To Get Latinos To Vote

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...


Portrait Of: Danny Trejo

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.


The Rehab Empire Built On Cakes

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...


How I Made It: Buscabulla

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...


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.


The Parents Are Not Alright

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...


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.


How I Made It: Chicano Batman

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...