In 2014, comedian Cristela Alonzo got her big break: a primetime sitcom that she created, wrote, produced and starred in. It was called "Cristela" and was loosely based off Alonzo's life. But despite her authentic touch, the show was canceled after one season. That motivated her in the following years to release a Netflix special, become the first Latina lead in a Disney-Pixar film and release a memoir titled "Music to My Years." In this conversation, Cristela Alonzo shares intimate stories from her memoir—from living below the poverty line in San Juan, Texas to her eventual rise to stardom.
In 2018, just months after Hurricane Maria, an eccentric group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts arrived in Puerto Rico. They came with big plans for the island—to help rebuild after the hurricane, and in the process create a high-tech cryptocurrency paradise in the Caribbean. They also came to take advantage of Puerto Rico's favorable tax laws. But not everyone in Puerto Rico was onboard with their vision to change everything on the island. Latino USA follows the often-bizarre story of these Bitcoin pirates of the Caribbean, from crypto boom to crypto bust.
Latino USA goes inside the biggest free health clinic in the country, which serves only people without insurance. There are nearly 28 million uninsured people in the United States, and for some of them, free clinics are their safety net. For undocumented people, healthcare options are very limited. For this story, we spend three days behind the scenes at CommunityHealth in Chicago, where more than half of the patients speak Spanish. We shadowed doctors and patients to observe the daily dramas that unfold there and listen in on intimate conversations—all to try to capture a snapshot of how life as an undocumented person can affect an individual's physical and mental health.
When Gabby Rivera wrote her coming-of-age novel "Juliet Takes a Breath" in 2016, she didn't know that it would get her attention from an unusual place: Marvel Comics. They asked her to write for America Chavez, their first queer Latina superhero. Gabby said yes. But as she was writing for their superhero, she found herself swept up in #comicsgate, an online harassment campaign against the comic book industry's efforts to include more women, people of color, and LGBTQ characters. In this "Portrait Of," Maria talked to Gabby about her beginnings as a writer, her difficult experience with #comicsgate and about returning to comic book writing.
Over the last two years, reporter Sarah Fuss Kessler has been following the story of a Latina high school teacher in the farming town of Merced, California. The teacher reported being sexually harassed by a white basketball coach at her high school. What followed would shake up the entire school district. Latino USA sat down with Sarah to talk about what she found at Golden Valley High School, and what it shows us about the #MeToo movement beyond the national headlines.
Our miniseries about California's Proposition 187, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Times, continues with a special bonus episode. Host Gustavo Arellano speaks with the former governor of California, Republican Pete Wilson. In 1994, Pete Wilson attached himself and his re-election campaign to Prop 187. Gustavo Arellano sits down with the governor to ask about his views on immigration, his involvement in getting Prop 187 passed, and the impact the measure had in California's political history.