Fronteras | Texas Public Radio

Fronteras

Fridays at 12 noon and Sundays at 9 p.m.

"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.

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Norma Martinez | Texas Public Radio

Hispanic Heritage Month comes a little over a month after an act of violence targeting Mexicans and Mexican Americans claimed 22 lives in El Paso. Activists want communities across Texas and the U.S. to have more profound observations to elevate Hispanic history and culture.

Tony Diaz, a Houston-based writer, says the rich culture should not be recognized and appreciated for just 30 days, but all year long.

Al Rendon

On Fronteras:

  • The Strong Heart Study has tracked the heart health of Native American populations since 1988. (0:00)

  • Family and friends remember Dr. Alfonso Chiscano, MD, a Canary Islands native who championed San Antonio’s culture (11:50).


Courtesy of Smithsonian's National Museum of African History and Culture

On the campus of Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College, historical images and posters from the 1960s are mounted on easels and lined up through the halls of the Small Business Development Center. While some passersby may overlook the display, the historical and cultural significance is far from subtle. These collection of images in part of a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

Texans in border communities used to cross back and forth freely with little to no documentation

Much has changed since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission in 2004 determined the border crossing rules were too lax, and Congress passed the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which required U.S. border crossers to possess passports or passport cards to cross the international ports of entry. Mexican travelers are required to carry a Border Crossing Card.

The complexities of international travel can be mind-twisting to someone who is new to it.


Courtesy of the Texas General Land Office

Despite being met with opposition, renovation work is underway at the Alamo as the Texas General Land Office plans to restore and recapture the historical 1836 battle.

Karina Erickson, Communications Director with the GLO, said the project aims to elevate the Alamo to the level of the Gettysburg memorial in Pennsylvania.


Vanessa Velazquez

The Texas Historical Commission designated the Alamo a “Historic Texas Cemetery” in 2019, but local indigenous peoples and descendants of early settlers want to go a step further with an “unverified cemetery” designation

Ramón Juan Vásquez, executive director of the American Indians in Texas, said members of the Coahuiltecan Nation and descendents of early settlers have fought for recognition of the cemetery for 24 years.

Luis M. Garza

Latino arts and culture is rich, colorful and varied. The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture is dedicated to promoting, developing and cultivating Latinx artists. Sometimes, however, outside forces can take a toll on their community.

Maria López De León, president and CEO of NALAC, said the organization has not been shy around the country’s immigration debate.


Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicana writer Cherríe Moraga is the author of the literary memoir, “Native Country of the Heart.” It explores not just Moraga’s life, but that of her mother, Elvira.  Elvira was born in 1914. Her father hired 11-year-old Elvira and her siblings as cotton pickers in California. As a young teen, she worked at a Tijuana casino that was frequented by Hollywood stars and mob bosses.

Daniella Rossell

One of the leading voices in Latino literature centers her latest work on her close relationship with her mother. Cherríe Moraga aims to preserve her mother’s stories and memories in her literary memoir, Native Country of the Heart.


Verónica G. Cárdenas

The U.S.-Mexico border recently dominated news headlines, from reports on overcrowded detention facilities to the “Stay in Mexico” policy. Two journalists say the region is more complex and culturally rich than what is portrayed in mainstream media

Then, young people living in San Antonio public housing get an education in art and culture in a printmaking summer workforce session.

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