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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


Javier Zamora on the Role of a Writer in Today’s World.

Javier Zamora is a writer who believes he has a particular responsibility: to understand and also change the world through words. He comes from a tradition of poets in El Salvador who used poetry to denounce injustices, the “Generación Comprometida,” and his personal experience of migrating as a child alone to the United States has shaped his worldview. In his work, Javier has shared some of the most intimate and difficult moments of his own history, first in the award-winning poetry collection “Unaccompanied” and then in the New York Times best-selling memoir “Solito.” In this intimate conversation, Javier shares what it was like to return to those painful episodes in his writing, the complicated relationship he has with El Salvador, and what he hopes the role of poets and writers could be in these turbulent times.


How I Made It: Buscabulla

Buscabulla is a Puerto Rican indie duo formed by wife and husband Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo del Valle. Around 2018, Buscabulla was one of the most beloved Latinx bands in New York City. Raquel and Luis had just released their second EP and confirmed a performance in that year’s Coachella music festival. Around this time of success, Raquel and Luis decided to move back to Puerto Rico. It was a significant life change, but one they were certain they wanted to make... as artists, and as new parents. In this segment of our "How I Made It" series, Raquel and Luis join us from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and they tell us about their debut album "Regresa." This episode originally aired in October 2020.


The Matter of Castro Tum

In 2018, a young Guatemalan man named Reynaldo Castro Tum was ordered deported even though no one in the U.S. government knew where he was, or how to find him. Now, his unusual journey through the United States' immigration system has sucked another man back into a legal quagmire he thought that he'd escaped. This episode follows both of their stories and the fateful moment they collided. This episode originally aired in October 2020.


How I Made It: Las Cafeteras

Las Cafeteras is a band out of East LA that met while doing community organizing. They began playing at the Eastside Cafe, where they discovered Son Jarocho, traditional Afro-Mexican music from Veracruz. They quickly began to adapt the music to their realities fusing it with hip hop, rock, ska, and spoken word. They are known for their politically charged lyrics, speaking out against injustices within the immigrant community and their experiences as Chicanos in East LA. On today’s How I Made It, we sat down with members of the group to discuss how they got started, and their work to tell and preserve brown stories. This episode originally aired in November 2020.


Reclaiming Our Homes

On March 14th, 2020, Martha Escudero and her two daughters became the first family to occupy one of over a hundred vacant homes in El Sereno, Los Angeles. Some people call them squatters, but they call themselves the Reclaimers. The Reclaimers are occupying houses that belong to the California Department of Transportation, who planned to demolish them to build a freeway through this largely Latinx and immigrant neighborhood. This is the story of one of these houses, and its residents, past and present, who have fought to make it their home. This episode originally aired in November 2020.


Finding Legitimacy With Aida Rodriguez

If you’ve ever been to an Aida Rodriguez comedy show you’ve probably heard Aida crack jokes about her family, her upbringing, race, politics, everyday life and Latinos. She recently published a memoir called “Legitimate Kid: A Memoir.” In this episode of Latino USA, we hear Aida Rodriguez talk about, and read from her memoir and we get a front row seat to one of her recent comedy shows in New York City.


Sec. Xavier Becerra on Health, Immigration and Latino Representation

The Department of Health and Human Services oversees several agencies: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement are just a few of them. But since its founding in 1953, HHS had never been led by a Latino, until now. Maria Hinojosa sits down with the first Latino to lead the department, Xavier Becerra. They discuss mental health, Latino representation in the Biden-Harris White House, immigration, and more. Editorial note: This interview was recorded in early December.


Portrait Of: Sandra Cisneros LIVE in Chicago

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. This episode originally aired in June of 2019.


A Conversation With Jeh Johnson

Since the beginning of the Trump administration, the U.S.-Mexico border and immigration policy have been front and center in public conversation. However, a humanitarian crisis at the border is nothing new. Jeh Johnson was the Secretary of Homeland Security during President Obama’s second term, from late 2013 to 2017. He ran the agency during a tense period—when tens of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children and families were arriving at the border to claim asylum. Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa sits down with Jeh Johnson for a candid, and at times tense, conversation about the legacy of immigration policies implemented while he was in office. This episode originally aired in June of 2019.


Pepón Osorio’s Accumulation of Memory

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Pepón Osorio never thought that decorating the wedding cakes his mother made would spark his passion for art and his signature big installations full of tiny objects, sounds and memories. In 2023, the New Museum in New York City hosted Osorio’s most comprehensive exhibition to date. In this episode of Latino USA, we tour the exhibition with Pepón, and we learn about how he found a home in the Bronx, switched careers from social worker to full-time artist, and developed a passion for collecting objects.


Eugenio Derbez Gets Serious

Eugenio Derbez is a Mexican actor, writer, director and producer who got his start at the forefront of many comedy series in his home country. After decades of making families laugh across Latin America, Eugenio reinvented himself in Hollywood. In recent years he played the role of a music teacher in the movie “CODA,” which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2022. In 2023, Eugenio returned to Mexico to star in “Radical,” his first leading dramatic role. In this episode of Latino USA, Eugenio talks about “Radical,” the challenges and joys of reinventing himself in a new country, and working to change the narrative about Latinos in Hollywood.



This week Latino USA shares an episode of the Monumental podcast, from PRX. For generations, Christopher Columbus has been glorified in monument after monument across the United States. And while Columbus statues have recently started coming down, including in cities like Columbus, Ohio, the largest one in the world is standing tall —very, very tall… in a U.S. territory— the beach town of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. In this episode, reporter and journalism professor Gisele Regatão travels to Puerto Rico and beyond to uncover the roots of Columbus’ glorification in U.S. history and why he came to be represented in so many public statues—even though he never actually set foot on the U.S. mainland. And she visits a community artist in Woodside, Queens, who is confronting the myth of Columbus by creating new monuments that celebrate immigrant stories. You can subscribe to Monumental here.


Maria Martin, With Love and Light

A special episode remembering Latino USA founder and pioneer public radio journalist Maria Emilia Martin, who passed away on December 2nd, 2023. After a career in public media of almost 50 years, Maria left a mark as a journalist, educator, and tireless advocate for Latinos, Latinas, and Indigenous voices in journalism in the United States and Latin America. In this hour, we hear from journalists who knew and were mentored by Maria Martin and we present some of the extraordinary and award-winning reporting she did throughout her career.


Portrait Of: Danny Trejo

Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa sits down with actor and entrepreneur Danny Trejo. Trejo has starred in over 300 films, often playing villains and tough guys of all sorts. He now runs Trejo's Tacos, Trejo's Cantina, and Trejo's Donuts in Los Angeles. He shares how he went from regular stints in prison to being one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces. This story originally aired in April of 2019.


The Rehab Empire Built On Cakes

It's a common sight in Puerto Rico—men in bright yellow T-shirts going door-to-door- selling cakes. They're residents at Hogar CREA, Puerto Rico's biggest drug treatment program. Since CREA’s founding 1968, they've grown to a sprawling network of about 150 centers in Puerto Rico, the U.S. mainland, and elsewhere in Latin America. But since the 1990s, the organization has been under fire for its methods. Latino USA takes a look at how this rehab empire built by a former heroin addict continues to be funded by millions of tax dollars, despite dozens of reported cases of physical and sexual abuse. This episode originally aired in December of 2018.


How I Made It: El Peso Hero

By day, Héctor Rodríguez III is a school teacher; by night, he’s creating the world of “El Peso Hero”, a comic book superhero based on the border that is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In this episode of our "How I Made It" series, Héctor talks about growing up loving superheroes, but not feeling represented by them. Something he’d eventually deal with by building his own comic world centered on the border. This episode originally aired in July of 2021.


Unsafe In Foster Care, Part 2

We continue our investigation into the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). While looking into what happened the night Joseph Chacón died, reporter Deepa Fernandes finds out that another baby, Draco Ford, had passed away in the same foster home two months earlier. Why weren’t the foster children, including Joseph, immediately removed after Draco died? We also delve into the difficult decisions social workers have to make and the systemic problems of the foster care system in the U.S. as a whole. This episode originally aired in July of 2021.


How I Made It: Francisca Valenzuela

Chilean-American singer-songwriter Francisca Valenzuela has always forged her own path in music. Born and raised in California, Francisca began her career after moving to Chile with her family. Even when major labels and venues wouldn’t open their doors for her, Francisca recorded and performed on her own terms until she became one of Chile’s biggest stars. Francisca went on to release four studio albums, start her own music label, and create Ruidosa, a Latinx feminist collective for women and non-binary voices in music. In this episode of our "How I Made It" series, Francisca Valenzuela revisits her early days as a young woman building a music career in Latin America, and takes us down the road that led to her latest album, La Fortaleza. This episode originally aired in July of 2021.


Unsafe In Foster Care, Part 1

After a domestic violence incident, Leah Garcia called the police looking for safety for her and her two children. But her calls triggered the involvement of LA’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the largest child welfare agency in the country. Leah’s 5-month-old baby, Joseph, the son she had with her abusive partner, was placed with a foster care family. What happened after became a mother’s worst nightmare: the same system that was supposed to keep her child safe proved to be the biggest threat to his well-being. This episode originally aired in July of 2021.


Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes

This week Latino USA shares an episode of the podcast, Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes, from LAist Studios. Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes tells the story of the biggest political scandal in recent Los Angeles history. A secret recording leaked online in 2022 exposed then-LA City Council President Nury Martinez making racist and derogatory remarks. A year after the scandal, host Antonia Cereijido challenges Nury on her racist comments and the deeper systemic issues of race and politics in an exclusive interview. From LAist Studios, Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes, available wherever you get your podcasts. You can subscribe to Imperfect Paradise: Nury & The Secret Tapes here.