Annabel Garcia Torres
Producer and host of Latinx On The Rise
Tell us about your career and when did you start your podcast Latinx on the Rise?
I was studying broadcast journalism around the same time my mother fell very ill. School was getting more and more expensive not just financially but emotionally. In my junior year I left school to take care of her. I took a part-time job teaching English as a Second Language, ESL, to adult Spanish speakers.
My mother passed away 7 months after I left school and I would continue teaching ESL for the next four years. At first I found comfort in so many women my mother’s age who would give me advice and guidance, even though I was the teacher. I worked on a pilot program for the MacArthur Foundation. I interviewed students as a part of testing to gage their English development.
I heard so many stories about success, struggle and tenacity that I felt they needed to be shared. It was then that Latinx On The Rise was born as an idea. It wasn’t until years later I went for it and started the podcast.
What is your most compelling story from one of your interviews ?
Season 2: Episode 7: Titled “Looking for Freedom on Independence Day- A border Crisis”
Focused completely on family separations which had just started happening. I interviewed Carolina Rubio-MacWright an immigration lawyer who was planning on and later went down to the border to help bring legal aid to women in detention centers. Immigration is something I’m very passionate about and it was such a learning experience for me to hear the legal complexities from her point of view.
Who would you love to interview and why?
I have always been nosy! Even to this day I am like a 4 year old asking, “but why?” I’m also naturally a chatterbox and curious. I love talking to people and getting to know them.
What social stigma does society need to get over regarding latinx in the US?
That we don’t follow the law when it comes to immigration. I’m boils my blood because immigration laws are only 50 years old and they’re still out of date. There are many layers as to why people are seeking asylum and we have laws protecting that asylum. However, we have an administration completely against immigration period. It makes mothers who love their children and are willing to risk their lives for hope of a better life seem irresponsible.
The fact that we are using words like detention centers instead of concentration camps drives me crazy. Everything is how you spin it and the going ons at the border are made to seem like thousands of loving mothers and fathers are being neglectful by bringing their children here. When in reality our government has the power to process these families and give them asylum but they don’t. These detention centers aren’t afterschool holdings for naughty children. They’re concentration camps where children are dying, committing suicide, being molested and worse.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood means support. Not blind support but the kind of support that corrects you if you’re wrong and gives you the opportunity to change and grow. I come from a very female dominated family so I’ve always felt really comfortable around women. We naturally want to help and support each other. However, sometimes outside voices tell us we should be competing, that’s just nonsense. Our natural instinct is to support each other.
What's your personal mantra?
“Everyone is on their own path.”
With the Podcast industry booming, What would be your advice for women who are
building careers in your industry?
Don’t worry about being perfect or finding your voice right away, there is time for that later. If you’re passionate about a topic it will transcend and the audience will come.
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