16 October 2009

The Borders Within was an Associated Press Managing Editors award-winning year-long series written and produced by myself and colleague, Tony Gonzalez, to better understand the flourishing Hispanic population in small-town Waynesboro, Virginia.

The series was approached from the inside out. As we attempted to learn the language and make friends with Waynesboro's many Hispanics, we'd meet new people and find new story ideas constantly.

Along the way, we reported about struggles with the immigration system, the services available to Spanish-speakers, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the changing culture in Hispanic families as their children entered American schools.

Accompanied with our stories, you'll find multimedia photo slideshows and videos gathered and executed by us.

The series won a first-place APME award in the "International Perspectives" category.

The Special Section
On Dec. 12, 2010, Tony and I published a six-page special section which, among other things, detailed the changing lives of Waynesboro's first-generation Hispanics.


Read the stories:
Photobucket About this project
Photobucket Hispanic roots take hold, a generation moves ahead
Photobucket Hispanic after-school program awarded grant
Photobucket Mildred Schoenfeld-Hoy: A life of meaning
Photobucket Mormon missionaries intensify Spanish outreach

Kim Romero
Forced to choose between skirting the legal system or filing the paperwork, Kim Romero and her Mexican husband, Rigoberto Romero, decided their paths must split.

In an effort to "do the right thing," Rigoberto, an illegal immigrant, returned to Mexico while Kim fought the long legal battle to bring him back. The Romero's remarkable story illustrated how one woman slogged through a tattered immigration system and spent thousands of dollars to try and win her husband's return.

Read the stories:
Photobucket Pt. 1: Across the Miles - Web | PDF
Photobucket Pt. 2: Triunfo! - Web | PDF
Photobucket Pt. 3: On the Other Side - Web | PDF | Video

Nico Ibarra
After a couple of years in the business, Nico Ibarra earned himself a spot as a town cosmetologist with an exclusive edge on the Hispanic market in Waynesboro. With deft precision and the flourish of his careful hands, Ibarra, a Mexican immigrant, connects with people by doing what he loves most: styling and cutting hair.

Read the story:
Photobucket Niche barbershop growing - Web | PDF | Video

Doña Rosa
One of a handful of area interpreters who assist Spanish-speaking people, Rosa Hernandez is known lovingly as Doña Rosa. Working from the Waynesboro Health Department, Hernandez has become a pillar in the Hispanic community by offering help and assistance to those who don't know where else to turn.

Read the story:
Photobucket Astir in the Barrios - Web | PDF

2010 FIFA World Cup
During the 2010 World Cup, we caught up with several Spanish-speakers to try and gauge the general interest in the World Cup. Not surprisingly, we found a huge amount of interest...even if it meant taking off of work to watch their team.

Read the story:
Photobucket Game time - Web | PDF

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posted by Chase at 5:38 PM |