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 into a housing project in Newark to help the community. 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.