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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Courtesy of Marcus Huerta, UTSA

Conserving historic sites goes beyond protecting a physical structure. Heritage preservation takes into account the identities and values that bind people to places. It is an ongoing effort in a city that’s best known for its historical significance. The University of Texas at San Antonio has been exploring over 300 years of cultural heritage in South and Central Texas. 

William Dupont and Angela Lombardi, Ph.D, said the Alamo City is a prime location for their heritage preservation research, with its deep historical roots intertwined with a rich culture that defines the city.

Tom Pich

The two surviving members of Las Tesoros de San Antonio recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.

Blanquita “Blanca Rosa” Rodriguez and Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte” Llamas were honored as 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows and the two show no signs of slowing down.

Harry Gamboa Jr.

Inner demons, passions and life transformations are all recurring themes of one of the most iconic artists from the Chicano street art movement. Carlos Almaraz was one of Los Angeles’ leading contemporary artists, but his life was cut short when he died of complications from AIDS in 1989.

Elsa Flores Almaraz is working to keep her late husband’s work and legacy alive. The new documentary, “Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire,” highlights the significant moments in Carlos’ life and how these memories transcend in his artwork. 

Fabian+Echevarria

Pursuing a comedy career comes with challenges all its own, but as an openly gay entertainer in the 1980s, Marga Gomez had an additional set of hurdles to overcome. “Latin Standards” is Gomez’s 12th solo show.

Plus, San Antonio’s American Indians bring attention to the recent discovery of human remains on the property of the Alamo.

Josh Huskin

Were the Jurassic Park raptors just misunderstood? Who’s in the Regina George circle of friends? When did Michael B. Jordan break your heart into the most pieces?

It’s unlikely these are common afterthoughts to some of the most well-known films in mainstream media. But these questions and 27 others are answered and illustrated in Movies (and Other Things), the latest book from San Antonio native and author Shea Serrano.


Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

A happy, young 12-year-old girl living in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, sees her life upended when her family emigrates across the border to El Paso. Though the move was from one border town to another, the culture shock brought emotional and physical trauma that she’d carry throughout her life.

Una Voz Desatada (A Voice Unbound): The Art, Writings and Trauma of an Immigrant Child” is a posthumous exhibit of the life of Rocío Alvarado.


Courtesy of Brownsville Historical Association, Brownsville TX

Hateful language directed at people of color has a long, dirty history in the U.S. and along the border.

Mexicans and Mexican Texans living along the border in the 1800s were frequently described as greasers, monsters, demons, bandits, and criminals -- not just by Anglo Americans newly settled on the border but also by journalists who were telling faraway readers about the supposed lawlessness and backwardness of the borderlands. Just being Mexican could get you killed. That’s a fear many Hispanics have today, especially after the Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso.


There’s a rich, but often unexplored, piece of Texas history along the state’s southern and southwestern corridors. Settlers arrived in the Rio Grande Valley hundreds of years ago, and the people of color — who called the region home long before the newcomers — became targets of racism. The discrimination these populations endured is still having an effect on minority communities today.

Omar S. Valerio-Jiménez explores this piece of Texas history in the book “River of Hope: Forging Identity and Nation in the Rio Grande Borderlands.”


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).


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