Latino USA continues the tradition of ringing in the new year with the stories behind some of our favorite music. The winner of best new artist at the Latin Grammy's this year, Vicente Garcia, breaks down his song "Dulcito e Coco." Gabriel Garzón-Montano talks about the influences that led to his soulful style. We hear from up and coming Peruvian-American R&B artist A.CHAL. And we reveal Latino USA's new theme song composed by Xenia Rubinos.
Latino USA takes a deep dive into one of the most iconic Latino traditions: la quinceañera. We follow the journey of one quinceañera—Hailey Alexis from Whittier, California— as she plans for the big day. We meet the self-proclaimed "Quince Lord" (a videographer) and family friends who are debating whether they will have quinces for their daughters. We also attend one of the biggest quince expos on the East Coast. Throughout the process, we explore how the quinceañera is seen as a status symbol, a form of female empowerment, a statement about Latino identity—and also, just a really fun party.
The holidays are a time when families come together—but not everybody has the fortune to be close to their families. Actress Diane Guerrero speaks about living through the trauma of her parents being deported when she was a teenager, and dealing with the fear and loneliness of growing up without them. We also hear from Berta Hinojosa (our host, Maria's mom) as well as a father that stays in touch with his son by doing homework with him over Skype. Plus, what happens when you do reunite with your family, and it's not what you expected?
In progressive Minneapolis, an open letter is written to a white candidate for city council questioning his decision to run against a Latina incumbent in a time of "deep racial pain." In California, a Colombian man who identifies with his Spanish heritage tries to join the so-called "alt-right," and hits some bumps in the road. This week on Latino USA, we look at the complicated identity politics of whiteness in the Trump era. And, we examine the question of whether or not more and more Latinos will identify with whiteness in the future.
When the going gets tough, people may tell you to "look for a silver lining" or to "turn lemons into lemonade." But that's all easier said than done, right? On this episode we're bringing you stories of people who ended up in dark places but somehow found the light. We talk to fashion designer Mondo Guerra, from Project Runway, about how his most painful experience became the inspiration that launched his career. We also learn about Los Prisioneros, a punk band that fought a dictatorship in Chile, and we meet a young man who became a video game superstar while caring for his ailing mother.