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On Fronteras: Promotoras De Salud, History of Mass Mexican Deportation

Los Angeles Public Library
Herald Examiner Collection

 This week on Fronteras:  

--Connecting Latinos with vital health knowledge in the community.  A look at promotoras de salud.

-- In New Mexico, toxic chemical vapors have been seeping into the air unchecked since the 90’s.  Some homeowners are worried.

--San Diego residents split over Pope Francis canonizing Spanish Missionary Junipero Serra

-- We’ll take a look back at when Mexicans, many of them naturalized Americans, were deported in huge numbers from the United States.

-- Houston students make a case for putting more money into schools filing a brief in the Texas Supreme Court school financing case. 

Promotoras De Salud Connect Latinos With Health Resources

Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, and Latinos here and across the country are disproportionately represented.  Latinos also have higher rates of obesity, and diabetes, among other ailments, and the individuals who need the most help, are often the hardest to reach.

Community health workers in the Latino community, promotoras, work to educate and connect the community to resources.  Texas Public Radio's Virginia Alvino recently visited a senior living community in San Antonio to meet one resident promotora committed to her neighbor’s health.  

Here's the story. 

Old New Mexico Chemical Leak May Pose Health Risk 

Now to New Mexico, where a potential health risk remains unstudied.  When state environment workers were taking groundwater samples in downtown Albuquerque back in the 1990s, they discovered a large plume of a solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE—just 35 feet below the ground.  TCE is toxic to humans. It can cause cancer and birth defects.  But as Ed Williams of KUNM reports the chemical is still in the ground today and has some residents worried.  

Here's the story. 

Controvery Stirs Over Pope Making Spanish Missionary A Saint

One of the highlights of Pope Francis’ visit to America last week was the canonization of the 18th century Spanish Missionary Junipero Serra.  As Jean Guerrero of KPBS reports, some San Diego residents saw it as a good move but others didn’t think Serra deserved sainthood. 

Here's the story. 

America Deported Mexicans En Masse During Great Depression

Presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants living in America, along with their U.S. born children.  Critics say this is very unlikely to happen, but something similar has happened before.  Mexicans, many of them naturalized citizens, were deported during the great depression. Adrian Florido  of NPR’s Code Switch team has a look back.

Here's the story. 

Houston Students File Brief In Texas Supreme Court Case 

Now to Houston where Hispanics make up 62-percent of the public school district.  Currently, there is a lawsuit in the Texas Supreme Court arguing whether to increase school finances.  Some Houston students decided to join the fight and filed a brief in the case because they wanted the judges to see the importance of school financing from their perspective.   Houston Public Media’s Laura Isensee has the story.

Here's the story. 


Virginia joined Texas Public Radio in September, 2015. Prior to hosting and producing Fronteras for TPR, she worked at WBOI in Indiana to report on often overlooked stories in the community. Virginia began her reporting career at the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting.