Hispanics | St. Louis Public Radio


Horacio Esparza owns and operates La Guadalupana grocery store in St. Charles. 10/28/19
Andrea Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

ST. CHARLES — About a mile from the Schnucks across from Lindenwood University sits a less visible grocery store that caters to Latino customers. It’s about the size of a supermarket’s produce section. La Guadalupana’s narrow aisles are lined with crowded shelves holding food with Spanish labels: salsa verde, semita larga, chile morita and more.

The store also sells food seen in other grocery stores, like oatmeal and ramen noodles. Owner Horacio Esparza says he thinks the family environment attracts customers more than his products do. He strives to welcome everyone with a chipper, “Hola, ¿Cómo estás?” and greets familiar customers by name. 

Families gather at the Fairmont City libary to play, read books and take classes.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It's a common sight at the Fairmont City Library Center: Students discussing the grammar and syntax of English sentences in small groups.

On a recent night, the teacher wanted to know what another word for “per” is. The word got lost in translation. Some students suggested “for,” but in the sentence the teacher gave the correct answer is “each.” It was a confusing answer for one student who offered the Spanish word for “each” instead. It’s “cada.”

The class is just one of the night English language classes the library offers adult native Spanish speakers in the area who want to perfect their second language.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 5, 2013 - Eduardo Crespi says he puts in long hours promoting healthy habits among blacks and Latinos in the Columbia and Joplin regions of Missouri. Poli Rijos does the same in the St. Louis area. But the two and others like them still have plenty of work to do, judging from findings in two statewide reports from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 31, 2013 - African-American drivers in Missouri are more likely to be pulled over by police although subsequent vehicle searches show that white drivers are more likely to be carrying something illegal.

And Hispanic drivers -- while the least likely to be pulled over -- are the most likely of the three groups to be searched. While they were the least likely to be carrying anything illegal, Hispanic drivers were the most likely to get arrested.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 3, 2012 - A few weeks ago, while writing a story about approaching events for Hispanic Heritage Month, I stood up and said to my editors: “Which one’s right? Hispanic or Latino?”

Like good editors, they all had different answers. So we turned to the bible of journalism, the Associated Press stylebook, which said something to the effect of, it’s preferable to use Latino but Hispanic is OK, under the Latino heading, and it’s preferable to use Hispanic but Latino is OK, under the Hispanic heading.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 7, 2012 - The Latino population in St. Louis is a small one, at least from a numbers perspective.

As of 2010, the metro as a whole had a Latino population of about 2.6 percent, according to a report by the East West Gateway Council of Governments, which uses Census data. That’s up from .3 in 1990.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 2, 2012 - Almost 50 years ago, and she can still remember those nights. Men with guns rattled the windows and doors of her home while Haniny Hillberg and her family hid in their beds. 

The men wanted her brother, a revolutionary who protested in the streets against the government as Bolivia edged toward revolution.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 15, 2011 - A Hispanic male in his 30s showed up recently at Casa de Salud, a health center on the south side, feeling ill, distrusting hospitals and lacking health insurance to cover whatever care was needed.

Providers at Casa de Salud, Spanish for House of Health, were grateful that he dropped in. He turned out to have an active case of TB, and the care he got meant he wouldn't spread the disease to others.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 10, 2010 - On a recent Tuesday afternoon, rows of St. Louis Police Academy recruits wearing blue T-shirts tucked into their cargo pants took notes and asked questions as Maria Teresa Maldonado introduced them to Casa de Salud, the new community health and wellness center for Hispanic immigrants.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 16, 2010 - Maria Teresa Maldonado, a Hispanic community leader, recalls the sadness she felt about a year ago when two health clinics that served Hispanic immigrants closed their doors.

But she was all smiles Friday morning at the dedication of Casa de Salud, a new health center for immigrants who face barriers to affordable health care.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 24, 2010 - At Missouri's statewide Lincoln Days, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt -- Republicans' best-known candidate for the U.S. Senate -- warned that his party needs to do a better job of courting Hispanic candidates and voters.

"Don't wait until Hispanics are in the majority," Blunt said, citing the influx of Hispanics that he has seen in his southwest Missouri district. "Hispanics are very pro-family. They're socially conservative,'' he said. "They should be Republicans."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 12, 2010 - LThe Latino population in St. Louis continues to increase along with the number of university researchers who are interested in studying everything from attitudes about immigration to educational challenges facing the recent arrivals.

So it seems fitting that St. Louis University, Washington University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis are pooling their resources in an effort to further the understanding of the burgeoning Latino population both regionally and statewide.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2009 - With Latin music blaring in the background, the master of ceremonies called out to the audience: "Puerto Ricans, where are you? Co-lom-bi-ans. Mexicans, let's hear you."

On this sizzling Saturday afternoon, a crowd gathered in the shade beneath a canopy where several couples were having a dance-off. The emcee asked for cheers based on each contestant's country of origin.

"We've got a little of everyone here," he announced.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 15, 2009 - It's a muggy Sunday morning in Cahokia, and the Joses are right where they want to be -- watching soccer.

Jose Andrade, president of the Cahokia Latin American Soccer Association, is reclining in a fold-up chair that's planted in the middle of an 18-acre field he recently purchased. Andrade whistles to get the attention of Jose Luis Gonzalez, a longtime friend and fellow soccer aficionado. With a wide grin, Gonzalez hustles toward the midfield sideline but stops first to speak with his son, who's preparing for a game.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 5, 2009 - On a recent weekday evening, about two dozen people gathered at the cozy Nicaraguan restaurant Fritanga to celebrate the inauguration of El Salvador's new president, a leftist former television host named Mauricio Funes.

"It's good to be here to celebrate a happy day," said Marilyn Lorenz, program coordinator of the nonprofit group St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America, just moments before reading translated excerpts from the inauguration speech. Her audience was a mix of Central American natives and St. Louis natives who travel frequently to that part of the world. (Lorenz has been to El Salvador 16 times.)