Fronteras | Texas Public Radio

Fronteras

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

Presented by Texas Public Media, "Fronteras" explores 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" airs on Texas Public Radio stations, can be streamed at tpr.org or downloaded as a podcast.

Ways to Connect

JD Doyle Archives

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.”

Koury Angelo

Cristela Alonzo documents her upbringing in the Rio Grande Valley in her new memoir, “Music to My Years: A Mixtape-Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up.” Alonzo spoke with TPR’s Reynaldo Leaños Jr. about what inspired her to become a social and political activist.

Plus, the lasting impact of Benny Martinez, a longtime Mexican American civil rights leader, is being remembered as he is laid to rest this weekend in Houston.


Koury Angelo

Cristela Alonzo is a comedian, writer, producer, and actor. She’s a native of the Rio Grande Valley and doesn’t want you to forget it. 

Alonzo’s new memoir is called “Music to My Years: A Mixtape-Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up.”

She recently wrapped up a stand up tour she called “My Affordable Care Act.”

Alonzo took the tour to her hometown of McAllen in November. That’s where Texas Public Radio’s Reynaldo Leaños, Jr. — another native of the Valley — caught up with her. 

Norma Martinez | Texas Public Radio

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and there are probably millions more who have it and don’t know.

Latinos and African Americans are at a much higher risk for developing the disease than non-Hispanic whites. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says over 50% of Hispanic men and women are expected to develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetimes.


Born on the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo border, Norma Cantú explores the joy, sadness, love, life and the deaths experienced along the border in her new collection of poetry, “Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor.” (00:30)

Then, Mexican culture comes alive every holiday season with tamales. Making tamales is a family affair where everyone has a role. Carmen Tafolla and Ellen Riojas Clark are the co-authors of “Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization.” (12:10)


Courtesy of Norma Elia Cantú

The newest novel by a self-described daughter of the borderlands, Norma Elia Cantú, isn’t a memoir or autobiography, even though it draws on her own personal experiences.

Cabañuelas” documents Cantú’s young adult life when she sets off to Spain in 1980 to study the country’s culture — specifically, its fiestas. Cantú reflects on Spanish traditions and compares it to South Texas communities that were conquered by Europeans centuries ago.

Ester Hernández

Originally aired April 12, 2019

Chicana feminists faced obstacles entirely their own during the Chicano movement. Fellow Chicanos and white feminists upheld a racial, sexist and classist barrier between them, but many remained determined to make their voices heard. Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era is a new collection of essays that shares the stories of these lesser-known activists. 


United Tacos of America, El Rey Network

Tacos are a staple food of Hispanic culture, especially in a city like San Antonio that prides itself on their breakfast taco scene compared to other Texas cities. A new TV series is taking it a step beyond the eggs and chorizo wrapped in flour or corn tortilla. 

Two taco journalists are exploring the story, memory and culture behind the taco and how certain regions have become famous for their cooking methods.

Mando Rayo is co-host of the United Tacos of America.


Lauren Markham is a writer and reporter based in Berkeley, Calif. Her work has been featured on multiple outlets, including The Guardian, Harper’s, Orion, Guernica, VICE, Pacific Standard, The New Yorker.com and VQR, where she is a contributing editor.
Ben Guccciardi

Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller was recently exposed of sending emails to the far-right media outlet, Breibart, in which he recommended the website write about the 1973 French novel, “The Camp of the Saints.” The controversial novel pushes the theory that minorities are replacing and ultimately destroying white civilization — “the great replacement” myth.

These are the same myths writer and journalist Lauren Markham has aimed to tackle throughout her writing. She has worked with refugees and immigrants for over a decade and has written about migration stories and migration myths.


Penguin Randomhouse

Driven by curiosity, shaped by the streets of her native town of Macún, Puerto Rico, and grounded by the responsibility of being the eldest of 11 children, Esmeralda Santiago’s childhood on the island was abruptly uprooted when her mother moved her and her siblings to New York. 

Santiago caught up with Fronteras earlier this month when she was in town to mark the 35th anniversary of the Puerto Rican Heritage Society. Her three memoirs — “When I Was Puerto Rican” (1993), “Almost a Woman” (1999) and “The Turkish Lover” (2004) — and her other work remains wildly popular today. 


Pages