Latino Culture: Today and Yesterday

I don’t watch cable news. No more shouting talking heads for me.

In fact, we’ve whittled our cable service to about 16 channels – I guess we’re even below basic! Today, I get information through a number of quality online news sources. When I do watch news broadcasts, it’s usually via PBS.

Over the last week, PBS has shared some excellent in-depth stories and programs related to Hispanic Heritage month. Many of which are related to culture and the dual identities that Latinos carry within them. Below are two great examples, and I’d encourage you  to watch them when you have chance.

The first video is from the PBS News Hour and features El Pasoan artist Benjamin Sáenz. Mr. Sáenz shares his thoughts about life on the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Having lived in El Paso for over ten years, I found his words and work powerful, especially as it relates to dual identities, society, and culture. Mr. Sáenz’s piece begins at the 46:30 mark.

The second video is from PBS’, “When World’s Collide. The Untold Story of the Americas After Columbus.”  It can be found online here.  The program essentially tells the origins of Latino culture. The website accurately describes it: “Travel from Machu Picchu in Peru, to the Mayan cities of Central America, and the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, to discover how the collision of two sophisticated worlds created an entirely new culture.”

The history of Latino culture is long and one that continues to evolve. It’s complex. Its influence is everywhere. Those who can understand, appreciate, and engage it will benefit from its rich history.  


Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.