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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.


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


State of Exception: An Abolitionist Poet Visits El Salvador

Christopher Soto is a Salvadoran-American poet, activist and prison abolitionist. He is based in Los Angeles, but has remained tied to his parent’s home country. Throughout his life, Christopher has taken many trips to El Salvador, but during his most recent visit to the Central American country in the summer of 2022, things were very different: the country’s president Nayib Bukele had declared a state of exception to address rising homicide rates attributed to criminal gangs. More than...


Villano Antillano and Ana Macho Dream of Queer and Trans Futures

Villano Antillano and Ana Macho are two Puerto Rican trans and non-binary musicians making waves in the music industry. In their latest projects, Villano Antillano’s debut album “Sustancia X” and Ana Macho’s “Realismo Magico,” both artists use elements of magical realism and science fiction to dream of queer and trans empowerment. In this intimate conversation, we hear the two artists bring some humor into the difficult realities of navigating a transphobic industry, and we dive deep into...


An Unwinnable War

This week Latino USA shares an episode of the USA v. García Luna podcast, from Futuro Investigates and Lemonada Media. Genaro García Luna’s trial is over, but Maria and Peniley’s investigative work is not. In this episode, they learn that a U.S. senator has requested the DEA and the FBI information on García Luna, including the names of the U.S. officials who vetted him. We listen to some of our series’ protagonists react to the guilty verdict, and Peniley digs into what’s next for García...


'Suavemente' — The Merengue War

For this week’s Latino USA, we’re bringing you an episode from the newly released podcast series from WNYC Studios and Futuro Studios, La Brega, The Puerto Rican Experience in Eight Songs. By the end of the 1990s, merengue ruled supreme on the radio and TV in Puerto Rico, but the road to get there was long and complicated, coinciding with the growing Dominican population to the island and culminating in perhaps what was the pinnacle of its popularity and takeover in Puerto Rican music, at...


How I Made It: Ayodele Casel

For Ayodele Casel tap dancing is magic. As a young high school student, she dreamed of one day dancing like Ginger Rogers as she recreated Ginger’s moves in her bedroom But it wasn’t until Ayodele Casel was a sophomore at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts that she took her first tap dancing class. That was her entry point into the art form which would eventually lead to a more than 20-year career as a professional tap dancer. As a Black and Puerto Rican woman, Ayodele Casel didn’t see herself...


Teresa Urrea: The Mexican Joan of Arc

In the late 1800s, Teresa Urrea was a superstar. She was a ‘curandera,’ or healer, a revolutionary, and a feminist. At only 19 years old she was exiled from Mexico by dictator Porfirio Diaz, who called her the most dangerous girl in the country, and moved to El Paso, Texas. She also had a miraculous power: she could heal people through touch. Her vision of love and equality for all people regardless of gender, race, and class inspired rebellions against the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz,...


Daniel Suárez: Making History With NASCAR

Daniel Suárez made history in 2022 when he became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race, but the road to this feat has been anything but smooth. On this episode of Latino USA, Daniel Suárez talks about breaking barriers, the role his family played along the way, and how he’s trying to bring more Latinos to NASCAR.


I Wonder If I Take You Home: Freedom in Freestyle

For this week’s Latino USA, we’re bringing you an episode from the newly released podcast series from WNYC Studios and Futuro Studios, La Brega, The Puerto Rican Experience in Eight Songs. Created by Nuyorican street kids in the mid-80s, freestyle music became the sound and story of second-generation Boricuas. Hip-hop and pop, Latin Caribbean rhythms and instruments, all came together in freestyle. The sound was ubiquitous in New York and later in Orlando, FL. Young Puerto Rican women...


Digging Into Mexican Food With Chef Margarita Carrillo

The food of Mexico is diverse, complex, and beloved across the world. Don’t just take it from us—in 2010, traditional Mexican cuisine was added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Mexican chef and cookbook author Margarita Carrillo Arronte was a big advocate of this move. Throughout her career, she’s been committed to exploring Mexican cuisine and showcasing it on the world stage. Her latest release, “The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook,” dives into Mexico’s legacy of plant-based...


Portrait Of: Jorge Drexler

Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler knows what it's like to live different lives within one. An ENT doctor until his early 30s, he then decided to leave medicine behind, as well as his life in Uruguay, to pursue a music career in Spain. He became the first Uruguayan to win an Oscar with his song “Al otro lado del río.” In this episode of Latino USA, the multiple award-winning musician walks us through key moments in his career, including the creative process behind his latest album...


Valle de Sueños: The Beginning of the End

This week Latino USA shares the first episode from the Valle de Sueños podcast. We launch Valle de Sueños on Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day to honor those who have journeyed and kept their resiliency, faith, and love despite the treacherous path to citizenship. Our Lady represents strength, hope, and access to a kind, loving world, which represents the dreams of those who sacrifice their lives as migrants. In episode 1, our host Laura Peña introduces the binational community of Matamoros,...


'La Lucha Sigue': Chicano Teachers Now and Then

More than 25 years ago, two teachers in New Mexico were fired for refusing to stop teaching Chicano History in their classrooms; today, that history repeats itself in Denver, Colorado. What are students missing out on when they don’t learn about their history in school? In this episode of Latino USA, we present a conversation between teachers Tim Hernández and Nadine Córdova. They talk about their shared struggles, the relevance of Chicano History in the classroom, and the lessons they’ve...


“El gran varón” — ¿Quién era Simón?

Esta semana en Latino USA, te compartimos un episodio del nuevo podcast “La Brega: La experiencia boricua en 8 canciones”, producida por WNYC Studios y Futuro Studios. Inicialmente, "El gran varón" fue prohibida por algunas estaciones de radio, pero a pesar de esto, se convirtió en un éxito; muchos la consideran una de las salsas más conocidas de todos los tiempos. Omar Alfanno explica que la canción fue realmente inspirada por un rumor sobre un amigo de la vida real. Sólo años más tarde se...


El Gran Varón: Who Was Simón?

For this week’s Latino USA, we’re bringing you an episode from the newly released podcast series from WNYC Studios and Futuro Studios, La Brega, The Puerto Rican Experience in Eight Songs. Gabby Rivera was 7 when Willie Colón released “El Gran Varón” in 1989. She remembers her father playing in the Bronx. The cinematic arc of the song would stick with her: Simón, depicted as a trans queer person, is shunned by their father and dies alone of what’s assumed to be AIDS. “El Gran Varón” was...


Portrait Of: Esmeralda Santiago LIVE in NYC

In 2018, Latino USA teamed up with the Unterberg Poetry Center at the 92nd Street Y to put on an event honoring the 25th anniversary of Esmeralda Santiago's coming-of-age classic "When I Was Puerto Rican." In conversation with producer Antonia Cereijido, Santiago talks about what it's like to live through a hurricane, the #metoo movement, and learning to not care about what other people think of you.


The Breakdown: The Legacy of ‘Dora the Explorer’

In 1998, three television writers tasked with creating the next hit children's show came up with the idea of a young girl who would go on adventures and ask questions directly to the audience. With the help of consultants, they created a seven-year-old Latina girl named Dora Márquez and the show, "Dora the Explorer." Almost 20 years later, Dora is reimagined as a teenager in a new live-action film called “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” While some of the elements in Dora’s world are still...


La Brega Season 2: The Puerto Rican Experience in 8 Songs

As the island donde hasta la piedras cantan –“where even the rocks sing”– Puerto Rico is home to a dizzying breadth of musical expression. From the lyrical boleristas of the 1930s, to the electric salseros of the ’70s, to the reggaetoneros of today who have taken music from the margins and made it a global sensation, this season takes listeners on an exciting, richly-reported, cross-genre adventure that captures the ceaseless creativity, emotional resonance, and yes, la brega that are...


Cecilia Gentili's Revolutionary Ask

Trans activist, actress and author, Cecilia Gentili, knows the power of stories. Whether she is working at her company Trans Equity Consulting, writing an op-ed for the New York Times, or portraying a character on television, Cecilia believes that sharing her story is a way to advocate for the change she hopes to see. On this episode of Latino USA, Cecilia shares about her new memoir, “Faltas,” which is written as a series of letters to people in her hometown in Argentina. Cecilia talks...


Into Natalia Lafourcade's Inner Garden

Mexican singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade embraces contrasts in her music. Look no further than her latest album, “De Todas las Flores,” where Natalia found herself both processing death and celebrating life. Prior to this, Natalia released a number of critically acclaimed albums that drew from Latin American musical history. Her journey led her to Carnegie Hall in New York City, where she premiered her latest music in a special live performance late last year. Just days before this...


The Call Is Coming From Inside the House

Last November, Maria Hinojosa visited Howard University in Washington, DC to celebrate its inaugural Democracy Summit. The Summit was organized by the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which was founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. Maria sat down with journalist Jodi Rave Spotter Bear and historian Kathy Roberts Forde for a panel discussion about the history of journalistic blindspots and how the mainstream media often fails to see the dangers of white...