Fronteras | Texas Public Radio


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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 or downloaded as a podcast.

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Data compiled by Dr. Rogelio Sáenz from state COVID-19 data portals

The number of Latinos who have died of coronavirus complications in the U.S. narrowly outpaces the rate of white fatalities. One San Antonio researcher believes the number of Latino deaths may not be as accurate as it’s being portrayed.

Dr. Rogelio Sáenz — professor of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio — decided to investigate if the statistics for the Latino population are somehow skewed.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a somber reminder of how quickly and unexpectedly life can be lost. The heartache from loss can be coupled with stress as relatives are left to face end-of-life planning.

Stephanie Townsend Allala, an elder law attorney, tells us what kind of conversations we need to have with our loved ones before our inevitable exit.

Copyright (c) 2013- 2018, Jeffrey Gusky, All Rights Reserved.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time humanity has been devastated by disease. History reminds us of our most challenging moments but also how we’ve managed to persevere.

Dr. Jeff Gusky discovered the remnants of an almost forgotten African American combat unit whose members volunteered to serve after white troops were decimated by disease in the Spanish American War.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

COVID-19 has taken a toll on minority and high-risk communities, especially those with underlying medical conditions. One of those conditions is diabetes.

Tracey D. Brown, President and CEO of the American Diabetes Association, explains having diabetes doesn’t necessarily make someone more susceptible to contracting the virus, but the recovery process is a steeper uphill battle for diabetics.

About 70% of Latino-owned businesses who completed applications for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program never received any funding before the pot was depleted in less than two weeks.

Representatives of three national Latino organizations explain how they’re stepping up to provide support and are lobbying to get future funds secured exclusively for minority-owned businesses. 


Vanessa Dawson

  • COVID-19 has taken a deadly toll on factory workers in Mexico, as several employees at a Lear Corporation manufacturing plant in Ciudad Juárez have died. One family shares their story, from the beginning stages of the COVID-19 diagnosis to his eventual passing.

  • The traditional process for corn tortillas dates back centuries and is still widely practiced in Mexico to this day. Now, nixtamalization has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to one country that, up until a few years ago, was mostly a taco-free zone: the Netherlands.

Martin do Nascimento | KUT

  • DACA recipients in the U.S. all face an uncertain future as the Trump administration has proposed ending the program entirely. And an estimated 29,000 Dreamers working in the health care system now face another daily threat to their well-being: the coronavirus.

  • The Texas-Mexico border is a hub for manufacturing. Most factories are shut down but those that are open, are now making medical supplies and devices badly needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courtesy of the United Farm Workers of America

  • Farm workers are deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic. But many of these critical workers won’t reap the benefits of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that lawmakers recently passed because of their legal status.

  • Relatives of people in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s custody cope with fears about the possible spread of COVID-19 inside crowded detention centers.

Doctors Without Borders/MSF

Thousands of migrants awaiting asylum hearings in Mexico now face a greater threat with the outbreak of COVID-19. The international medical humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders, is on the frontlines responding to the crisis.

Then, Guatemala closed its borders and airports last month to try and stem the spread of the coronavirus. Up until a few days ago, there was one exception for in-bound flights relating to immigration enforcement. 

The Washington Post

There are nearly 26,000 people experiencing homelessness in Texas. With limited or no access to everyday hygiene products or information on how to protect themselves from contagion, this population is at a high risk for COVID-19. A Washington Post reporter recently visited one of the largest homeless shelters in the country to profile a worker putting herself on the frontline to help this vulnerable population.

Then, two border communities have conflicting public responses on how to control the spread of the coronavirus in the shared region.