News & Politics Podcasts

"Fronteras" is a Texas Public Radio program exploring the changing culture and demographics of the American Southwest. From Texas to New Mexico and California, "Fronteras" provides insight into life along the U.S.- Mexico border. Our stories examine unique regional issues affecting lifestyle, politics, economics and the environment.

"Fronteras" is a Texas Public Radio program exploring the changing culture and demographics of the American Southwest. From Texas to New Mexico and California, "Fronteras" provides insight into life along the U.S.- Mexico border. Our stories examine unique regional issues affecting lifestyle, politics, economics and the environment.


United States


"Fronteras" is a Texas Public Radio program exploring the changing culture and demographics of the American Southwest. From Texas to New Mexico and California, "Fronteras" provides insight into life along the U.S.- Mexico border. Our stories examine unique regional issues affecting lifestyle, politics, economics and the environment.








Fronteras: End-Of-Life Planning In The Wake Of A Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has been a somber reminder of how quickly and unexpectedly life can be lost. The heartache from loss can be coupled with stress as relatives are left to face end-of-life planning. Stephanie Townsend Allala, an elder law attorney, tells us what kind of conversations we need to have with our loved ones before our inevitable exit.


Fronteras: Lessons Learned From A Pre-WWI All-Black Combat Unit During A Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time humanity has been devastated by disease. History reminds us of our most challenging moments but also how we’ve managed to persevere. Dr. Jeff Gusky discovered the remnants of an almost forgotten African American combat unit whose members volunteered to serve after white troops were decimated by disease in the Spanish American War.


Fronteras: Diabetes, COVID-19, And Underserved Communities 'Testing Is Critical'

COVID-19 has taken a toll on minority and high-risk communities, especially those with underlying medical conditions. One of those conditions is diabetes. Tracey D. Brown, President and CEO of the American Diabetes Association , explains having diabetes doesn’t necessarily make someone more susceptible to contracting the virus, but the recovery process is a steeper uphill battle for diabetics.


Fronteras: ‘Latinos Are Hit First And Worst’—Federal Support Falls Short For Minority-Owned Business

About 70% of Latino-owned businesses who completed applications for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program never received any funding before the pot was depleted in less than two weeks. Representatives of three national Latino organizations explain how they’re stepping up to provide support and are lobbying to get future funds secured exclusively for minority-owned businesses.


Fronteras: COVID's Deadly Toll In Maquilas; COVID Impacts Mexican Tortillera In The Netherlands

COVID-19 has taken a deadly toll on factory workers in Mexico, as several employees at a Lear Corporation manufacturing plant in Ciudad Juárez have died. One family shares their story, from the beginning stages of the COVID-19 diagnosis to his eventual passing. The traditional process for corn tortillas dates back centuries and is still widely practiced in Mexico to this day. Now, nixtamalization has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to one country that, up until a few years ago, was...


Fronteras: Uncertain Future For DACA Frontline Workers; Border Factories Manufacture PPEs

DACA recipients in the U.S. all face an uncertain future as the Trump administration has proposed ending the program entirely. And an estimated 29,000 Dreamers working in the health care system now face another daily threat to their well-being: the coronavirus. The Texas-Mexico border is a hub for manufacturing. Most factories are shut down but those that are open, are now making medical supplies and devices badly needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Fronteras: Farm Workers 'American Heroes' During Outbreak; Detainee Who Feared COVID Released

Farm workers are deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic. But many of these critical workers won’t reap the benefits of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that lawmakers recently passed because of their legal status. Relatives of people in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s custody cope with fears about the possible spread of COVID-19 inside crowded detention centers.


Fronteras: Doctors Without Borders At Migrant Camps; Asylum Seekers Misled On Deportations

Thousands of migrants awaiting asylum hearings in Mexico now face a greater threat with the outbreak of COVID-19. The international medical humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders, is on the frontlines responding to the crisis. Then, Guatemala closed its borders and airports last month to try and stem the spread of the coronavirus. Up until a few days ago, there was one exception for in-bound flights relating to immigration enforcement.


Fronteras: How COVID-19 Impacts Homelessness And The Border

There are nearly 26,000 people experiencing homelessness in Texas. With limited or no access to everyday hygiene products or information on how to protect themselves from contagion, this population is at a high risk for COVID-19. A Washington Post reporter recently visited one of the largest homeless shelters in the country to profile a worker putting herself on the frontline to help this vulnerable population. Then, two border communities have conflicting public responses on how to control...


Fronteras: Vulnerable Populations Confronting Coronavirus

Bars closing, social gatherings limited to 10 people, restaurants restricted to take-out only, visitors banned from nursing homes — COVID-19 has dramatically disrupted life in the U.S. But life along the U.S.-Mexico border and in bicultural communities is grappling with their own set of challenges. From El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley, reporters from across the region have been examining the unexpected social, cultural and health challenges that have emerged as officials try to act swiftly...


Fronteras: San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla On Poetry, Loss And Recovery

Poet Laureates are government-appointed figures whose voices not only promote poetry, but often reflect and speak to the current sentiment of the country. In 2012, San Antonio became the first Texas city to name its own poet laureate . The city’s current Poet Laureate, Octavio Quintanilla , wraps up his two-year term this year.


Fronteras: Puro San Antonio Artists Capture Their Community Through Prints, Paintings And Murals

The works of two San Antonio-area artists are elevated to a national stage by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Texas Public Radio’s Dominic Anthony and Jack Morgan profile the iconic artists and their lasting legacies.


Fronteras: Writers Conference Resurrects Issue Of Diversity In Publishing

Many in the industry have known for decades people of color are not represented enough in literature and the publishing world, and that concerns writers across the country. Over 12,000 people are expected to attend a major writing conference in San Antonio next week. Two local authors weigh in on the controversy surrounding diversity in the world of writers, and what it means to host the Association of Writers and Writers Program (AWP) in a city with a 25% illiteracy rate.


Fronteras: 'Stolen Education' — Mexican-American School Children Challenge Segregation In 1957

Editor’s Note: Insensitive language frequently used in the mid-20th Century is included in this story. The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that racial desegregation in public schools was unconstitutional . Some school districts were not swayed by Brown v. Board of Education and found ways to discriminate. Mexican-American students in Driscoll, Texas, were purposely held back to avoid “retarding” the white students. Students with Spanish surnames were made to take first grade for three years. It...


Fronteras: Sí Se Puede — Dolores Huerta, 89, Still Fights For Worker Rights, Representation

Labor leader and activist Dolores Huerta fought alongside Cesar Chavez to unionize farm workers, but her life in activism didn’t end at the picket line. She continues to work for the working poor, women, and children, through the Dolores Huerta Foundation . Huerta was recently the guest of honor at an event hosted by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce .


Fronteras: From Afghanistan To San Antonio — A Refugee Shares His Harrowing Journey To Freedom

A 2019 report by the Institute for Peace and Economics labeled Afghanistan as the “least peaceful” country in the world . More than 10% of all refugees worldwide are from Afghanistan — second only to Syria — and 94,000 Afghan refugees lived in the U.S. as of 2016. A San Antonio educator was one of the millions of people who were displaced when the Soviet army invaded his native country of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Haroon Monis shares his experience of fleeing his war-ravaged homeland in his...


Fronteras: The Legacy Of The Chicano Student Walkouts Remembered 50 Years Later

Students across the Southwest walked out of class in the late 1960s and early 1970s to protest what they believed to be discriminatory policies directed at Mexican American students, including a ban on speaking Spanish on campus. Mario Compean and Aurelio Montemayor were co-chairs of a recent conference in San Antonio that reflected on the Chicano student walkouts, 50 years later.


Fronteras: The Road To Indigenous Night, The Longer Road To Indigenous Awareness

Professional sports teams have been dogged with accusations of cultural impropriety. The Washington Redskins and the Atlanta Braves have come under fire for offensive team names. Chief Wahoo, the cartoonish mascot of Cleveland Indians, was officially retired from team uniforms in 2018.


'Stolen Education' — Elementary Students Challenged Discrimination In Texas Schools In 1950s

A largely-forgotten court case about race discrimination in Texas schools is brought to life in a documentary. It’s been a personal journey for the film’s executive producer.


Fronteras: Queer Texas History — Young San Antonio Historian Uncovers A Hidden Past

The story of the LGBTQ community in the early 20th century is buried deep in Texas history. A first-generation college student and young historian explored these lesser-known past events and early advocates and published his findings in the scholarly article, “ Recovering Queer History in Texas: Female Impersonators, Public Opinion, and Policy Responses in the Early Twentieth Century .”