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Mexico’s Soda Tax; Dual-Language In N. Texas; Where The Immigrant Children Went

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Katie Schoolov
A patient waits to see a doctor at a clinic in Tijuana, Nov. 7, 2014.

On Fronteras:

-- While recent studies have shown that the brain is not an immutable object and can learn and relearn skills post a critical childhood window, there is no doubt that a conducive environment and starting young profoundly impacts a person’s ability to learn, think and process information. This includes language. Educators in Grand Prairie in North Texas talk about the district’s growing dual language program.

-- There’s been plenty of talk of trying to regulate sodas and other sugary drinks to combat obesity. Mexico has already been taxing sugary drinks for almost a year now, and the tax seems to be producing positive results.

-- We now have a better idea of where the Central American minors who came to the U.S. alone earlier this year in droves, ended up. Pew Research Center gives us an update.

'Generation One': Helping Kids Learn English -- And Spanish, Too

Over the last few decades, student bodies in North Texas have been transformed by demographic change. Schools, accordingly, have adapted to the change by changing the way they teach, and teaching in Spanish in addition to English. In the latest chapter of KERA’s American Graduate series, “Generation One,” Stella Chavez checks in at a Grand Prairie school that starts dual language teaching as early as pre-K.

Health Advocates Cheer Initial Results Of Mexico’s Soda Tax

The City of Berkeley gained widespread attention a few weeks ago, when voters there passed the nation's first soda tax. Other U.S. cities have tried but failed to regulate sodas and other sugary drinks as a way to combat obesity, and related health problems. But one country has forged ahead into a space where others are wary of treading, and has been taxing sugary drinks for almost a year.  Fronteras reporter Jill Replogle tells us that Mexico's soda tax seems to be producing some results.

Still On Mexico, Where The Government Faces Police Reform Challenges

Mexico’s president wants to change his country’s constitution and replace local police with state police. He also wants the legal authority to take over municipal governments infiltrated by organized crime. But ongoing protests and recent polls suggest Mexicans aren’t convinced the change will make a difference.

The move follows disgust in Mexico over a long delay by the federal government to investigate the murders of 43 college students. Mexico’s Attorney General says the slaughter was committed by gangs of killers from the drug trade, working with local police on the orders of an elected mayor. Lorne Matalon reports from Chihuahua, Mexico.

Pew: Texas Tops List of States Where Central American Minors Ended Up

We now have more information on exactly where all of those Central American minors who came to the U.S. alone earlier this year, ended up. Jens Manuel Krogstad crunched the government numbers for the Pew Research Center and fills us in on this episode of Fronteras.

Of Families, Legacy, And The True Spirit Of Christmas

It’s a passion play with roots that go beyond the borders of Texas, far beyond even Mexico. It’s called Los Pastores. “It actually originated from the Franciscan Friars from Spain,” said the play's assistant director, Deborah Covarrubias-Barcenez.

“They brought it to the New World, to Mexico, to teach the indigenous people the nativity story. And from Mexico it was brought to Texas, to here in San Antonio, in 1910 to our parish at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.”

The Spanish language play is staged at the Institute of Texan Cultures on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 14, and then at Mission San Jose at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20.
 

Crystal Chavez was Texas Public Radio’s Morning Edition host for three years, until January 2015.