The New Face of Small-Town America: Snapshots of Latino Life in Allentown, Pennsylvania

My good friend and fellow periodista (and South Texan) has published a book, a collection of some of his journalism work about Latinos changing the face of small towns across the United States.

This excerpt is from a Q&A with the Freedom Forum’s Diversity Institute:

Q: The biggest surprises?

A: How much access people gave me to their lives. They allowed me in, even during awkward situations. I included an essay about a Catholic brother who visited prisoners as part of his ministry. He did not always feel safe, and he did not speak much English. The interactions between the Catholic brother and the prisoners weren’t always smooth. I stayed back and observed and recorded it all.

Q: What do you think of how Latinos are portrayed in the media?

A: “When I first arrived (in Allentown), Latinos were wary of me. The mainstream media only covered Latinos in negative stories, they told me. They were present in crimes and riots that followed Puerto Rican Day parades. I made it my mission to try to show the majority, the hardworking men and women coming here, looking for a small-town America way of life.”

To read his interview, click here.

To buy his book, click here.