Her work has been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Latina, and many other publications throughout the United States. Her essays and columns have been anthologized in both college and high school textbooks. Her video work has been featured on Frontline/PBS and numerous media websites.
Macarena is a frequent guest on radio and television shows. She has appeared on shows such as NBC’s Dateline, CNN Headline News, Fox and Friends and on National Public Radio, where she’s been a media guest on Talk of the Nation, Tell Me More and Latino USA.
Before joining the staff of The Dallas Morning News as a columnist in 2005, she was the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for the San Antonio Express-News, overseeing South Texas and Northern Mexico. While there, Macarena wrote “One-Family, Two Homelands,” a personal, five-part series exploring Mexican migration through her own family’s story. Macarena’s series is now taught in Texas schools.
She is now the Victoria Advocate Endowed Professor in Humanities and teaches in the Communications Department at the University of Houston – Victoria. Macarena is co-founder of Centro Victoria, where she serves as managing director. Housed at UHV, the center is committed to creating resources around Latino literature in the United States. She spent a year teaching English literature to sophomores at her alma mater, La Joya High School.
She has received numerous awards. In 2003, Latina named her one of their Women of the Year. The following year, Hispanic Magazine named her one of 2004’s Trendsetters. In 2006, the Los Angeles Times called her a Media Face to Watch.
Macarena has a B.A. in English Professional Writing and Journalism from Baylor University, and Master of Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.