Christine Bolaños covers human interest, social & criminal justice, education & business issues for numerous international, national & local outlets. IWMF Fellow-El Salvador. NAHJ Austin VP-Print.
Bidi Bidi Banda, a Selena tribute band leaving a huge mark in the southwest, was honored with its own day during a recent Austin City Council meeting.
In a first-of-its-kind event, seven Mexican delegates learned about municipal police, cadet training and operations during a visit at Pflugerville Police Department headquarters Friday morning.
When Westwood High School rising senior Prathyush Shankar prepared for his family vacation to India in 2015, he expected nothing out of the ordinary.
Instead, the then-15-year-old was met by several friends and relatives in Chennai who were displaced after severe flooding hit the area. Heavy rainfall continued through December, claiming more than 500 lives and leaving 1.8 million people homeless.
“Everyone was scrambling. We could see some waterlines on some of the roads,” Shankar said. “It was eye-opening. The state of their lives was so different than before.”
Witnessing the devastation — people needing supplies, shelter and general support — Shankar decided he couldn’t just sit back. He founded Shot in the Arm, a nonprofit with the goal of mobilizing relief efforts locally and internationally.
Christi and Dan Ucherek never imagined they would willingly leave their families, jobs, and friends in Illinois in favor of re-settling in Guatemala, where they juggle raising four children with full-time mission work for Orphan Outreach. Despite all the unique challenges that come with the lifestyle, the Uchereks wouldn’t have it any other way. However, they caution anyone considering missionary work to prayerfully weigh the pros and cons before making the life-altering decision
Raised by a former county commissioner and a retired district judge, Analicia Bañales is no stranger to politics. But when President Donald Trump was elected to office last November, it struck a chord. She realized even the best progressive candidates would find it nearly impossible to get elected and effect change without support from voters. With internships, study abroad experiences, campaigning, and rallies under her belt, Analicia was ready to take the next step. She enrolled in the Jolt Organizing Institute – held by Jolt, a progressive nonprofit focused on mobilizing Latinos – to learn how to become an effective community organizer.
Honduras, one of the most economically insecure countries in Latin America, is home to an estimated 170,000 orphans according to UNICEF. These children are oftentimes subjected to a lifetime of poverty and lack of opportunity for advancement. But government officials recently entered into an agreement with Orphan Outreach and other NGOs to launch a pilot foster care program aimed at finding homes for displaced children that could have profound effects on the future of the country’s youth.
The continuing story of Betty Roque: "My arrival to this country was an odyssey completely different from what I imagined."
Sandra Moran realized she was gay at a young age, but chose to hide her identity for fear of retaliation. Today, as Guatemala’s first openly gay member of Congress, she is helping to bring conversations about LGBT rights into the spotlight.
An inspiring relative sits down with Christine Bolaños to recount her harrowing past in El Salvador and her determination to start anew.
Efre is based on Rosa, a real-life undocumented mother in Austin, and her children Alejandro and Karla. The mural tells Rosa’s story and that of many immigrant mothers in Austin and beyond. It is a symbol and a reminder of the sacrifices these mothers make to give their children a better future, and of their vital role as centers of their communities.
The day after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a controversial immigration bill into law during an unprecedented Facebook live event Sunday evening, both supporters and opponents of Senate Bill 4 (SB4) have already begun to take the battle to the courts.
Anthony Graves emerged from solitary confinement over six years ago to become a national crusader for justice reform, but it took a recent report by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin to add new urgency to his campaign to reform the practice in his own state.
Graves spent more than 18 years in the Texas prison system, including 16 years in the all-solitary Allan B. Polunksy Unit, after being convicted for murders that he didn’t commit. He was released in 2010 after DNA evidence helped exonerate him—but the trauma of his nearly two decades behind bars is with him still.
Latinas in positions of influence in STEM industries are becoming more common with each passing year.
Companies of impact know the importance of hiring employees who bring new ideas and different perspectives to the table. Research shows that companies with more diverse and inclusive staff tend to be more successful. IBM and Westar Energy are two such companies.
Sonia Mezzetta began her career at IBM in 2001 as a software engineer and worked her way up to Data Strategy Consultant and Certified Information Architect. Erica Garcia is an engineer at Westar Energy where she is responsible for effectively and efficiently reducing emissions. Find out what makes these Latinas tick in our latest article.
Growing up in a neighborhood where gang violence and crime prevailed, Isa Parada could have ended in prison or dead. Instead he chose to convert to Islam, a decision that tested his family bonds and forever changed his life. Today, he is the first full-time Muslim leader, or imam, at Centro Islámico, believed to be the nation’s only Spanish-speaking mosque.
Adrian Rios’ life turned upside down when his mother was diagnosed with a non-cancerous but inoperable brain tumor a few years ago.
All seemed hopeless as the tight-knit family of four, whose extended family lives in Puerto Rico, prepared to say goodbye to their matriarch. Then medical staff at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston offered Bruny Rios an experimental surgery that could give her a second lease on life.