Latino Usa



Latino USA, the radio journal of news and culture, is the only national, English-language radio program produced from a Latino perspective.


  • How I Made It: Ada Limón

    03/08/2021 Duration: 20min

    Ada Limón spent almost her whole life dreaming about poetry. Today, she has five successful poetry titles under her belt, including “Bright Dead Things,” a National Book Award finalist, and her most recent book, “The Carrying,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. Ada’s debut poetry collection, “Lucky Wreck,” was published in 2006. In honor of its 15th anniversary, the collection was re-released in spring 2021. “Lucky Wreck” explores themes of life and death, along with bicoastal living in California and New York City. In this episode of our "How I Made It" series, Ada Limón tells her story of a young woman falling in love with poetry and reflects on the making of “Lucky Wreck” 15 years later.

  • A Million More Immigrant Voters

    30/07/2021 Duration: 40min

    On this episode of Latino USA, we look at the attacks against voting rights taking place throughout the country and how New York City is trying to move in the other direction—extending municipal voting rights to up to one million non-citizen residents.

  • Portrait Of: Carmen Maria Machado

    27/07/2021 Duration: 31min

    Carmen Maria Machado is a modern-day literary phenomenon. From horror to speculative fiction to comic books, her writing defies genre. She’s a bestselling author, a National Book Award finalist, and a Guggenhein Fellow. Her experimental memoir “In the Dream House,” about a past abusive queer relationship, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, the New Yorker and TIME Magazine, among others. In this “Portrait Of,” Maria Hinojosa talks to Carmen about navigating mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, writing horror, and confronting her Latinx identity.

  • On The Other Side

    23/07/2021 Duration: 33min

    President Joe Biden made a lot of promises on the campaign trail related to immigration. He even promised to reverse several Trump-era policies. Biden has now been in office more than six months, so what’s changed and what hasn’t in terms of immigration? Latino USA looks at two Trump-era policies —the Migrant Protection Protocols and Title 42 expulsions— and where they’re at under the Biden administration.

  • How I Made It: El Peso Hero

    20/07/2021 Duration: 22min

    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.

  • Unsafe In Foster Care, Part 2

    16/07/2021 Duration: 45min

    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. 

  • How I Made It: Francisca Valenzuela

    13/07/2021 Duration: 20min

    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.

  • Unsafe In Foster Care, Part 1

    09/07/2021 Duration: 46min

    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.

  • How I Made It: Kichwa Hatari

    06/07/2021 Duration: 14min

    In this segment of our “How I Made It” series, Charlie Uruchima shares his journey with his ancestral language and tells us how he created "Kichwa Hatari," the first Kichwa-language radio station in the U.S. From a bedroom-turned-radio studio, to building an entire community of radio hosts and language activists, Charlie tells us how he discovered the power of radio to build solidarity that defies borders.

  • Puerto Crypto

    02/07/2021 Duration: 41min

    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.

  • The Fight For Abortion Rights In The Dominican Republic

    29/06/2021 Duration: 39min

    The Dominican Republic has one of the harshest anti-abortion laws in the Americas, but a legal reform might be closer than ever before. In recent months, women’s rights activists have taken the streets to protest in favor of the “three causales”—three circumstances under which abortion would be allowed: when the fetus is nonviable, when the woman’s life is at risk, or when the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest. The approval of these three ‘causales’ has been a decades-long battle, because conservatives and the Catholic church still have a big influence in the country. In this episode, we speak with Dominican journalist Amanda Alcántara to learn more about how women are fighting for their reproductive rights on the island.

  • You Want To Talk About Hot Cheetos?

    25/06/2021 Duration: 37min

    We tackle the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos controversy and dive into why this story is so much more than just about a processed snack food but a story about race, culture, identity, and the stories that we choose to believe.

  • How I Made It: Fluxus Foto

    22/06/2021 Duration: 18min

    After a historic clash between Ecuadorians and their national government in 2019, one photo of an Andean woman mid-protest became an iconic symbol of resistance around the world. The image was taken by a member of Fluxus Foto, a collective of Ecuadorian photojournalists. Their mission is to document indigenous peoples’ long-lasting struggles to have their rights guaranteed, and the collective has only continued to grow over the past few years. The 12 photographers in Fluxus have risked their lives to capture political demonstrations and social movements. More recently, they’ve immersed themselves in local indigenous communities to document their lives amid a global pandemic. In this episode of our “How I Made It” series, Fluxus members take us behind the scenes of photographing the fight for social justice throughout the region.

  • Jon M. Chu On Film And Belonging

    18/06/2021 Duration: 43min

    As “In the Heights” hits theaters one year after its original release date, we talk to director Jon M. Chu about why he thinks immigrant narratives deserve to be summer blockbusters. Chu tells us about his youth as a child of Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants, and the role that TV and film played in his family’s sense of belonging. After a successful career directing large budget franchise movies for over a decade, Chu talks about the reckoning that led him to fight for movies like “Crazy Rich Asians” and now, the movie adaptation of “In the Heights.”

  • A Family Conversation On Race And Latinidad

    15/06/2021 Duration: 35min

    Two Afrolatinx cousins have an intimate conversation about race and Latinidad a year after George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin, a white cop. Umar Williams, a musician and radio host living in the Twin Cities, discusses with his younger cousin, Alexander Newton, who lives in Washington, D.C. In this episode, they talk about growing up ‘Black is beautiful,’ their Panamanian heritage and how they rediscovered Latinidad.

  • I'm A Cholo

    11/06/2021 Duration: 29min

    In the United States, the word “cholo” invokes images of gang members, lowriders, and tattoos. But in South America, cholo or “cholito” can either be a term of endearment or a racial slur used against people of indigenous ancestry. How come one word is used to describe two very different groups of people on opposite sides of the world? We take a journey, from the streets of California to the Andes of Peru, to find the roots of an ancient and harmful term that some people are, nonetheless, reclaiming as an element of pride and identity.

  • How I Made It: Maná

    08/06/2021 Duration: 14min

    The rock en español group, Maná, is one of the most successful Spanish-language rock bands of this generation. They've sold over 40 million records worldwide. But the band didn’t start out playing stadiums. It all began when one member started an English-speaking band three decades ago in Guadalajara, Mexico. Latino USA sits down with drummer Alex Gonzalez, who tells us how they got their start and became Maná.

  • Shrimp Who Falls Asleep

    04/06/2021 Duration: 45min

    Writer Yesica Balderrama immigrated from Morelos, Mexico to New York City with her family over two decades ago. Since then, they’ve been living in Queens as undocumented immigrants. While Yesica eventually was able to become a DACA-recipient, her mother and uncle are still undocumented. She has since moved out, gone to college and become a writer. But as she’s drifted away and created her own independent life, Yesica has started to become increasingly worried about how little her family has changed. In this intimate story, Yesica decides to confront her relatives with tough questions about their lack of progress, and how they try to stay afloat in this country.

  • Crossing The Border For More Affordable Insulin

    01/06/2021 Duration: 42min

    From KPBS and PRX, “Port of Entry” tells personal stories, stories of love, hope, struggle and survival, from fronterizas and fronterizos and other people whose lives are shaped by the wall. Despite the pandemic and travel restrictions, people are still crossing into Tijuana for medical procedures and medications. They’re looking to save money on everything from discount dental work and weight-loss surgery to more affordable insulin. People like Liz Salcido, who has Type 2 diabetes. She needs insulin daily, just to survive. But sometimes, when money is tight, she’s had to ration the life-saving drug. In this episode of “Port of Entry,” we follow Salcido and another San Diego woman who went on a journey to find more affordable insulin across the border in Tijuana.

  • Lorena's 'Alcance'

    28/05/2021 Duration: 57min

    When pioneering trans activist Lorena Borjas first arrived in the U.S. in late May of 1981, she found both community and an epidemic. Through her experiences on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, NY, Lorena developed a personal approach to connect trans Latinas and trans sex workers to critical medical and legal resources. Decades later, it would be another massive health crisis — COVID-19 — that would take the life of this beloved community leader, putting into stark relief her vast legacy. Now, her closest friends paint an intergenerational portrait of Lorena, as a trailblazer, a mentor, and a mother.

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