Earning a place on the dial: Raoul Cortez, KCOR, and Spanish-language radio
Founded San Antonio, Texas in the 1940s by Raoul A. Cortez, KCOR was one the nation's first full-time Spanish-language radio stations.
The Bracero History Archive collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in more than half of the states in America.
This video is featured in the "Families in Business" section of the American Enterprise exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American…
Raoul A. Cortez (1905–1971) thought media should serve the community and promote the common good. After working in a Spanish-language newspaper, he founded a radio station, which became the voice of the Spanish-speaking community in San Antonio. In 1955, he opened KCOR-TV, expanding his broadcasting business and community-centered media vision to television.
Maria Durazo (1953-) learned the hardships of labor in the fields with her Mexican immigrant parents. She became a dynamic union organizer, served as leader of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union, and joined the Executive Council of AFL-CIO. Standing with her community, she protested low wages, dangerous working conditions, and deaths of immigrant workers. (Photograph by Peter Holderness)
Dora Hilda Escobar (1969–) arrived from El Salvador in the 1980s, seeking opportunity but finding exploitation. Entrepreneurial and hardworking, she labored in the gray economy selling clothes and making pupusas in her home. Eventually, she built a business selling to the émigré community, which expanded to multiple restaurants and check-cashing facilities.
KWEX Camera and Remote Box, 1970s: Cameraman and reporter Andreas Morin used this portable camera and remote box to record stories on location in and around San Antonio, Texas. KCOR-TV became KWEX with the sale of the station to Emilio Nicolas Sr., Raoul Cortez’s son-in-law, and a group of investors in 1961.
Spanish dollars were the monies of choice when coins were available in Colonial America, and Americans liked them so much that they eventually based their own U.S. dollar on the Spanish real. The uniform quality of the Spanish real made it a popular currency for international trade.
United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez never forgot his roots. His father’s short-handled hoe reminded him of migrants’ backbreaking daily struggles. Chavez organized workers thought to be unorganizable. By using hunger strikes and the call of “Sí, se puede,” he galvanized public support for the plight of farm workers.
Emma Tenayuca, 1916-1999
In 1938, Emma Tenayuca helped organize the strike of 12,000 pecan shellers in San Antonio, Texas. She was 22 years old at the time.
The sazón in hip-hop
A slow disco melody spins on the turntable, interrupted by the metallic sound of symbols. Right after that, the running sounds of bongo beats — that Latin spice, or sazón, if you will — become the undergoing rhythm to the introduction of the Cold Crush Brothers as they take on the Fantastic Five at Harlem World, the music venue that housed the earliest MC battles on the corner
Mariachi Los Amigos
Mariachi Los Amigos was founded in 1979 and has continued to evolve over the years. Los Amigos truly are what their name depicts: a group of friends who shar...
Sneak Preview: Songs of the Spanish Civil War (Vol. 1 & 2)
Stream Sneak Preview: Songs of the Spanish Civil War (Vol. 1 & 2), a playlist by Smithsonian Folkways from desktop or your mobile device