Culture Shift: Looking at Identity in the Borderland Bubble

In this episode of Our Border Life we talk about those moments when people realize they’re in a culture shift – that something fundamentally has changed about their identity. Specifically, the growing awareness of the multi-layered identities among people living in the U.S-Mexico borderland region of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

We meet with Gustavo Reveles, who was born in El Paso and spent the first 15 years of his life living on both sides of the border. In a conversation with a friend, Martin Bartlett, Reveles talks about how he didn’t realize he lived in a culture bubble until he moved away for a job after college.  


“You grew up thinking you’re both Mexican and American.

Filmmaker Galán honors Willie Velasquez’s Legacy in Latest PBS documentary in run up to Election 2016

Chicano filmmaker, Hector Galán documents the legacy of Willie Velasquez, the Mexican-American activist, who launched a grassroots movement that forever changed the political landscape in the United States in his Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary, Willie Velasquez: Your Vote is Your Voice.” The film breaks cultural barriers highlighting the importance of the Latino vote and was recently presented at The University of Texas at El Paso’s Union Cinema and was accompanied by a voter registration effort to honor Velasquez’s legacy. A production of Galan Incorporated and Latino Public Broadcasting, “Willie Velasquez: Your Vote Is Your Voice,” showcases the life of the man who led the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project and launched 1,000 voter registration drives in 200 cities. Velasquez paved the way for Latinos to have a voice in government and underscored the growing power of the Latino vote. Chicano independent filmmaker, Hector Galan directed the documentary shedding light on the Latino voting revolution.

Spanglish works against preserving cultural heritage by degrading language

In the early morning, I usually listen to the news as I drive to school. This route takes 20 minutes, and I stay fixed to the radio listening to bad news mixed with humor in order to start the day with a laugh. But then, my program goes into a break and the first thing that comes out is an advertisement for Tecate Light using Spanglish. We are exposed to this dialect in advertisements, music, television, and radio and in our bicultural communities it is not uncommon to hear Spanglish and that is how some companies aim their campaigns at young Hispanic consumers. The problem with Spanglish

Spanglish is a linguistic phenomenon that occurs by taking parts of English words and mixing them with parts of Spanish words.

Programs aim to help Latinos get into medical schools

EL PASO — As the need for more Hispanic doctors grows in the U.S., medical organizations have realized that special programs at educational institutions are needed to prepare more Latino pre-med students to enter the profession. “The minority populations are growing, and we don’t have many minority doctors,” says Mary C.D. Wells, director of the University of Texas at El Paso Medical Professions Institute. “In the last couple of decades, the American Medical Association, the American Association of American Colleges, all of these groups that look over medical training in this country have seen that.” According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of accepted Latino medical school applicants is low because of socioeconomic issues including low levels of education, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, discrimination and poor or dangerous neighborhood settings that influence career choices. The Medical Professions Institute (MPI) is a program that was established in 2002 to provide support for students aspiring to become professionals in the medical field and ultimately prepare for medical school.

Cal State LA celebrates the life of the martyred border journalist Rubén Salazar

California State University, Los Angeles, celebrated the 87th birthday of the late Mexican-American journalist Rubén Salazar with the inauguration of an exhibit entitled “Legacy of Rubén Salazar: A Man of His Words, a Man of His Time” that will be on display at the University’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Library until March 26. Salazar was a Mexican-American journalist who was struck and killed by a tear gas canister fired by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputy during the National Chicano Moratorium March on August 29, 1970. He was 42. “Rubén Salazar was with our people by reporting accurately, fairly and perceptively about our people when he was working as a reporter. Today Latinos become larger in numbers, but not necessarily better understood by the media or our society,” said Dr. Felix Gutierrez noted Chicano and Mexican-American history and journalism scholar.

Latino youth hailed as hero in Tucson shooting

TUCSON – In a state now famous for discriminating against Hispanics, a young man has shown the nation the strength and courage a Mexican American can have in the line of fire. Daniel Hernández, 20, is being hailed throughout the nation for his role Jan. 8 in saving the life of Congresswoman Gabriella Gifford when he provided first aid to the 40-year-old congresswoman who had been shot in the head. A memorial for the massacre that claimed six lives and left 13 others wounded was held on Jan.12 at the University of Arizona. More than 14,000 persons attended the commemoration, including President Obama, who personally acknowledged Hernández’s heroism and thanked him.