Sazón De NH: Dulces Bakery, Manchester

Angela and Jose Mojica have found sweet success in Manchester with Dulces Bakery. The couple draw from their roots in making their small business a success. Angela is Colombian and Jose is Puerto Rican.

“New Hampshire doesn’t have many Hispanic things,” Angela said in an interview with NHPR referring to Hispanic-Latino owned enterprises. She said she likes that the state is accepting of different cultures, “We can showcase a little bit of our world.” The menu is reflective of that with flan, tembleke, quesitos, pastelitos de guayaba, (Puerto Rican puffed pastry stuffed with guava), and much more.

 But their best seller, the tres leches cake earned the People’s Choice at the 2016 Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy competition.

Best of Show: Jose and Angela Mojica were big winners at the 2016 Chocolate Lover’s Fantasy competition at the Radisson.

Angela and Jose originally opened Dulces Bakery on Manchester’s West Side in 2015, but were forced to relocate to Amherst Street in 2018. By March 2019, they had expanded to include a dining area. The bakery is now double the size of its original location, and the couple have added a dessert truck to sell their confections at festivals and events.

Running the business hasn’t been easy. Neither has the experience of moving to the U.S. as a child for Angela. As a child, she said classmates said hurtful things to her for being “different” and abused her just for not speaking English.

The once stay-at-home mom said being bullied helped her develop a thick skin. Now, she teaches her kids the value of being different, “Don’t let fear keep you from your dreams or reaching your goals. Don’t hold back and keep moving forward.

Angela originally immigrated to Staten Island, New York, with her family when she was four. Jose was born in Puerto Rico, moving to New York to live with his grandmother to pursue gymnastics when he was teenager. They moved to NH in 2002. “We fell in love with the state. It felt like home. It’s family based,� Angela says. “We love everything about it.�

Publisher’s Notes: This story is in part an aggregate from NHPR and Manchester Ink Link.

Kiara Coll Ramirez, recipient of the Hortencia Zavala Foundation Scholarship

Kiara Coll Ramirez, a graduating senior at the University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo (UPRA), is the winner of the 2022 Hortencia Zavala Foundation Scholarship. Coll was also president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Student Chapter at UPRA. She plans to attend graduate school.

Coll participated in the News production sequence at the Department of Communication. She was executive producer of UPRA’s radio news program “Notas del Saco,â€� as well as producer of the social media video news program “Noticias Punto a Punto.â€� Coll was the producer and on-air talent in a radio program transmitted by UPRA Web Radio, focused on LGBTQ+ community news and topics of interest. As part of her practicum, she was also involved in diverse news production angles for ABC Puerto Rico.  

“I am a proud Latina puertorriqueña searching for new opportunities and experiences to keep growing,” Coll wrote in her scholarship application. She said she never saw herself as a leader, but with the help of her colleagues worked hard to become one. In 2020, she was elected president of UPRA’s NAHJ Student Chapter and collaborated in several election coverage programming. “During my time (as president), I produced two candidate forums named El Voto UPR (governor’s chair candidates) and Arecibo Decide (candidates for Mayor of Arecibo.”

Coll is the eleventh Hispanic-Latino student to receive an HZF Scholarship. The fund was created in 2016 by Hugo Balta, twice president of the NAHJ and owner/publisher of New Hampshire Latino News (NHLN), one of five independent news outlets overseen by the Latino News Network (LNN), as a way to help Hispanic-Latino students while honoring the legacy of his abuelita, Hortencia Zavala.

Since its inception, HZF has worked with NAHJ national and local professional chapters in identifying worthy candidates. “The NAHJ National Office is delighted to announce that former NAHJ UPRA Chapter President Kiara Coll will receive this year’s Hortencia Zavala Scholarship,” said David Peña, Jr., NAHJ Executive Director. “Kiara’s commitment to excellence and bold spirit are qualities we need in journalists who are ushering in the next era of public service journalism.”

Balta commented on the partnership with NAHJ, saying, “The NAHJ has a long and distinguished history of nurturing the future of journalism. HZF is grateful to continue to work with NAHJ in helping students like Kiara on their path of success.”

Last year, the Hortencia Zavala Foundation (HZF), a not-for-profit organization, expanded its support of young journalists to include a journalism camp.

Call For Applications: Journalism Camp 2

Covering race, ethnicity, and culture: a guideline for fair and accurate storytelling, led by Balta, is a free 12-week course designed to go beyond the inverted pyramid of basic news writing in examining the terminology, usage, and word choice of stories providing greater visibility and understanding of deep-rooted inequities in all aspects of society.

Every conversation was insightful and provided different perspectives,� said Daniela Sandoval, an aspiring journalist from Southern California and one of the six Fellows participating in the camp. “I always looked forward to our meetings and lectures, and I always left every meeting feeling inspired and energized.�

The Journalism Camp that returns this Fall has a curriculum that includes getting one-on-one mentoring and hands-on experience in producing stories from concept to execution focused on social justice, determinants of health, and community empowerment.

Guest speakers also shared insights on networking with a purpose, strategies for managing one’s career, and the experience of often being the only person of color in the newsroom.

As part of her award, Coll has the opportunity to be one of the attendees in this year’s journalism camp and have her work published on LNN.

If you’re interested in applying for the Journalism Camp, please send your resume and letter of interest to

Please support the HZF’s mission by making a donation via PayPal, GoFundMe, or Zelle (the account is under

Cover Photo Credit: Kiara Coll Ramirez

Pretextual Traffic Stops Target Latinos In NH

Michael Vazquez didn’t know why a New Hampshire state trooper was pulling him over one afternoon in August 2018. He’d been driving his BMW on Interstate 93 in Salem, doing the speed limit.

Trooper Michael Arteaga told Vazquez he was tailgating another vehicle. But he had other reasons for the stop.

Arteaga was a member of a specialized unit whose chief mission isn’t traffic safety, but looking for drug traffickers on New Hampshire’s highways. He made what’s called a pretextual traffic stop because he thought the car might be involved in criminal activity.

A pretextual traffic stop occurs when a police officer stops a vehicle in order to conduct a speculative criminal investigation unrelated to the motorist’s driving, and not for the purpose of enforcing the traffic code.

It’s a workaround because state and federal constitutions bar police officers from stopping and investigating civilians on nothing more than a hunch. But motor-vehicle violations are so common that an officer can usually find a legal reason to pull over just about any car, then probe unrelated suspicions.

Police often say such stops are an important tool for seizing drugs and guns. But, research has found the practice leads to significant racial disparities, with police disproportionately stopping and searching Black and Latino drivers.

State officials have celebrated the Mobile Enforcement Team’s many arrests and drug seizures, dismissing critics’ concerns as based on a handful of cases that have spilled into public view. At times, they have denied troopers were trained to use pretextual stops.

In 2020, advocates like the ACLU, brought the issue before the Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency (LEACT) — formed by Gov. Chris Sununu after George Floyd’s murder to consider changes to policing — raising concerns about civil liberties and disproportionate impacts on drivers of color.

“In 2019, the Division of State Police issued its Fair and Impartial Policing policy, which aims to prevent and prohibit the practice of biased policing and other discriminatory practices in any law enforcement-related activity involving a member of the Division,� Tyler Dumont, a department spokesperson, said in the statement. “Additionally, all new recruit troopers now attend a multi-day implicit bias and procedural justice training at the police academy.�

Police in the United States have used pretextual stops since at least the 1980s, when the DEA began training state and local officers to spot cars that fit supposed “drug courierâ€� profiles. At times, officers were taught to look for explicitly racialized characteristics, like someone with dreadlocks or two Latino men in a car.

The reason he gave in his report: Vazquez was tapping on the brakes to stay in his lane rather than speeding up to pass.

Publisher’s Notes: this is an aggregate story from:

How pretextual traffic stops by N.H. police disproportionately affect Black and Latino drivers

‘Why did I get stopped?’ How N.H. state troopers use minor traffic violations to search for drugs

States, cities rethink use of police traffic stops as investigatory tool

Everything For The Family

The Garcia brothers are back, and the timing couldn’t be better. Fans of the award-winning Nickelodeon teen comedy series, “The Brothers García,� will remember Larry, Carlos, and George Garcia, who along with their sister Lorena and parents Ray and Sonia, made history as the beloved characters of the first U.S. English-language TV sitcom featuring an all-Latino cast and creative team. Now, more than 20 years after the show’s debut, the fictional San Antonio, Texas, family is making history again–this time as “The Garcias,� premiering on HBO Max, on April 14.

“We wanted to bring it back because there hadn’t been another show like it since,� said showrunner Jeff Valdez, the co-creator of “The Brothers García,� and who, along with global communications executive Sol Trujillo, is executive producer of “The Garcias.� The two are also co-founders of New Cadence Productions, which produced the new series.

“The Garcias� came to life after Valdez’s seven-year quest to obtain the rights to the original show from Nickelodeon. “The Brothers García,� had been highly popular, airing from 2000 to 2004 in more than 40 countries. A breakthrough finally came three years ago when there was a change in studio management. “I went to Viacom and said, ‘This is crazy,’� Valdez recalled. “It’s sitting on the shelf, and we have no shows for Latinos. It’s not just for Latinos–it’s universal. It’s a family show.�

For creator, Jeff Valdez, “The Garcias� is more than just about entertaining an audience. The show represents his deeply personal mission to portray Latinos as “regular� people. The goal is to counter the largely negative image of Latinos in mainstream media. “We’re people just like anybody else, and we’re fun,� Valdez explained. “There’s no crime in this show. There are no border walls. There’s not even the mention of immigration,� he continued. “We are not making programming. We are making deprogramming. That’s really important to understand. Because if we did programming, there would be nothing normal on this show.�

Watch the trailer here.

Now the episodes have all been produced with the original cast members reprising their roles in “The Garcias.�

“It feels amazing,� said Bobby Gonzalez, who plays George Garcia. “You’d think that a twenty-year gap would have made a big difference. But as soon as the original cast was back together, it just felt like home–immediately.�

“To be able to work on something you really love is a blessing,� said Ada Maris, who plays family matriarch, Sonia Garcia.

In the reboot, the family has expanded greatly. Viewers get to follow the lives of the now-grown Garcia siblings, their spouses, children, and parents as they vacation for two months at a beach house in an upscale part of  Mexico. “By having a U.S. Latino family in Mexico, we are showing that we are American,â€� Valdez said.

“To renew my relationships with the original kids who were 12 and 13 and are now in their thirties, was great,� said Carlos Lacámara, who portrays Ray Garcia, the father and grandfather of the family. “For me it was like we had a long weekend, and we just got back together, doing the shows again.�

Ada Maris (Sonia Garcia), and Carlos Lacámara (Ray Garcia). Photo Courtesy of HBO Max

In the idyllic resort-like setting, three generations of the Garcias enjoy adventure and discovery while learning what it takes to be a family. They come face-to-face with their cultural identities as they laugh, cry, and squabble good-naturedly, all the while never forgetting the family motto: Everything for the family–Todo para la familia.

“We’ll go through rough times. We’ll get into fights,â€� said Gonzalez.  “But at the end of the day, we’ll always love each other.â€�

“Todo para la familia,â€� said Vaneza Pitynski, who plays Lorena Garcia, the sister in the family.  “That is what the show is about: who has your back when you’re down. In the end, it is about a successful, hard-working Latino family that really cares,â€� she said.

Bobby Gonzalez (George Garcia) Nitzia Chama (Ana Garcia) and Maeve Garay (Victoria Garcia) enjoy a family celebration. Photo Courtesy of HBO Max

Cast members say the family-centric values found in “The Garcias,� storyline were also evident in their work environment. This, they say, was in stark contrast to what they had experienced on some other productions.

“It is such a relief to be able to just be a human being, and not have to play the stereotype of a Latino written by someone else,� said Lacámara. “For me, being part of this was liberating.�

“We just get to be ourselves. It’s just wonderful,â€� added Maris.

“In the end, the show is authentic. It’s not a non-Latino trying to tell a Latino how to do things, and we are very proud of that.�

“The Garcias� is also groundbreaking for introducing cultural diversity to the series. Carlos Garcia’s wife is Korean American, and the couple has two daughters.

“Honestly, I think it is really great that the show includes the Asian and Pacific Islander community,� said Elsha Kim, who plays Yunjin Huh Garcia. “I’ve had multiple people approach me and say, ‘You know, 20 years ago, it might have been a Latina.’ (But) there are so many mixed families now. If you look around, this is what families look like. Families aren’t all just one color,� Kim said.

Elsha Kim (Yunjin Huh Garcia), Jeffrey Licon (Carlos Garcia) and Trinity Jo-Li Bliss (Alexa Garcia). Photo Courtesy by HBO Max.

Valdez predicts that the show will resonate with viewers because he and his creative team had complete artistic control. “In the end, the show is authentic. It’s not a non-Latino trying to tell a Latino how to do things, and we are very proud of that,� Valdez said. “I would challenge anybody in town to show a credit roll with more Latino names on it than ours. We’re 92%.�

Valdez has high hopes for “The Garcias,� and believes it could pave the way for other Latino-themed programs. In fact, he says he has at least five spin-offs in mind that his production company plans to market. But as Jeff Valdez will tell you, it all starts with the success of this new series. “Watch the show because the Garcias are coming.�

Jeff Valdez, creator of “The Garcias� worked for seven years to get the rights to the original show. Photo Courtesy HBO Max

palabra. continues its conversation with Jeff Valdez, who is credited with pioneering the English-language Latino market in American television. The award-winning Colorado native has been producing, directing, and writing in TV and film for more than 25 years.

His answers  have been edited for clarity and space.

palabra.: What are the reasons you brought the Garcia family back?

Valdez: “It’s really about family dynamics. Every episode has a universal theme. Every episode has a lesson learned in it.  There’s this richness to the show that people can re-embrace. After coming out of two years of Covid, God knows they can use a little love right now.â€�

palabra.: Considering that a lot of Latino-themed shows have been canceled, what is the significance of “The Garcias� coming along at this point in time?

Valdez: “Executives have said that Latinos don’t support their own shows. But there are so few. The solution is to have more than one a year. The business part of it is that it isn’t social justice.  You shouldn’t do this because we are victims and we are owed this. You should do it because this is smart business. We’re 2.8 trillion dollars as a GDP.  If your company doesn’t embrace the U.S. Latino market, you won’t be in business in 10 years.â€�

palabra.: Why is it important to normalize the portrayal of Latinos in the media?

Valdez: “The sad part is that when you look at U.S. Latinos, everything we see on TV is (that) we are crossing a border. And when we see Mexico, it’s always got this really grainy, yellow filter on it. The Mexico I know has got amazing museums.  (My family and I) were in Mexico City just two weeks ago. The food blows anything in L.A. away.â€�

“But the best way to answer your question is that when we first screened “The Brothers García,� a young Latina said afterward, ‘Thank God there’s a show that confirms my normalcy.’ I‘ve never lost track of that and I dedicate everything to that young girl.�

Cover Photo: The Garcias continue their journey of self-discovery and family bonding while on a long summer vacation. Photo Courtesy HBO Max.

Saida Pagan is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the recipient of a first-place award for entertainment reporting in the 2022 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards competition. In 2021, she also received two first-place awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for a documentary on the history of Los Angeles. Pagán was born and raised in New York City, and is of Puerto Rican heritage. She has worked as a newscaster for television stations across the United States, and has appeared in nearly 100 primetime television programs, major motion pictures and other media projects. Her TV news series on the challenges of ethnic actors titled, “The Color of Movies,� won a Golden Mic Award and was placed in the archives of SAG-AFTRA following a special ceremony honoring her work. Pagán holds a master’s degree with distinction in Strategic Communication and frequently conducts webinars on various aspects of media and communication.

Publisher’sNote: Everything For The Family was first published on palabra.

Illinois Latino News, one of five independent news outlets managed by the Latino News Network, is partners with palabra. in best serving the Hispanic-Latino community.

Is New Hampshire diverse enough to lead the DNC nominating process?

The Democratic National Committee wants to ensure a nominating process that is more reflective of the party’s values and New Hampshire might not be it.

Last month, the Rules and Bylaws Committee designed an application process by which all states wanting to be the caucus and primary openers of the presidential campaign season must make their case based on “racial, ethnic, geographic and economic diversity and labor representation,â€� according to the New York Times. 

That doesn’t bode well for the Granite State that’s 89.8 percent white (not Hispanic-Latino); 4 percent are Hispanic-Latino; 3 percent Asian American; and 1.8 percent Black, according to the U.S. census. 

“A lot of people will say, ‘Oh, New Hampshire is a very white state,’� said Rep. Manny Espitia of Nashua. �In a way, whenever they say, ‘Oh, there’s no people of color who live there,’ it kind of makes us feel like the people who do live here are erased.�

The House Democratic floor leader told the New Hampshire Bulletin that while he understands the concerns about diversity, New Hampshire should remain first, citing the organization and efficiency of the state’s processes and the challenges presented to candidates.

Espitia argued presidential primary candidates shouldn’t sideline marginalized communities like Hispanics-Latinos, no matter how small the size.

“If people try to ignore the diverse populations in this state, then come primary day, they’ll see what happens,â€� he said. “I think one of the reasons Bernie (Sanders) did really well here in 2020 (is) he won a lot of the Latino districts, and he ended up doing really well in Nevada.â€� 

Presentations explaining and defending an interest in being among the top five early nominating states, must be received by June 3. The subcommittee will make its recommendation on the calendar order by July 15. The DNC will later vote on it.

Meanwhile, diversity considerations were not a concern for the Republican National Committee, that on April 14 approved New Hampshire among the first four states to vote.

Publisher’s Notes: This story is an aggregate from the New Hampshire Bulletin article: New Hampshire Democrats race to pull first-in-the-nation primary from uncertainty

Cover Photo: New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire on September 7, 2019. Scott Eisen

Call for applications: Journalism Camp 2

The Hortencia Zavala Foundation (HZF) is pleased to sponsor, once again, the Journalism Camp: Covering Race, Ethnicity, and Culture, a first-in-class 12-week program providing practical guidelines for fair and accurate storytelling.

The FREE virtual workshop led by award-winning news media veteran and twice president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)Hugo Balta, returns after a successful launch last Fall. 

Six young journalists from across the country participated in the inaugural class. “I have nothing but good things to say about the camp,” said Stephania Rodriguez, a student at Depaul University in Chicago, Illinois. “It exceeded my expectations by feeding my knowledge, allowing me to network and connect with others, and publishing my work.”

Boris Q’va had this to say about his experience, “I felt heard when I needed it the most.” Q’va is enrolled in the New Media Journalism Master of Arts degree at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. “All of the lectures were equally important to me, but I found myself thinking about Solutions Journalism, and how it builds trust with the public through transparency.”

SUGGESTION: Meet The 2021 Fellows

As part of the program, all of the stories produced by the fellows were published on one or all of the Latino News Network news outlets. Balta is the owner and publisher of the Latino News Network.

“It is imperative that students get real work experiences and mentoring to navigate a newsroom that more often than not is not diverse and inclusive,” said Balta.

Due to a lack of equitable representation in newsrooms, there is an urgent need to train journalists to be transparent in news gathering and reporting on the complexity of racial identity, social constructs relating to ethnic terms, and cultural competence.

Covering race, ethnicity, and culture: a guideline for fair and accurate storytelling is a course designed to go beyond the inverted pyramid of basic news writing in examining the terminology, usage, and word choice of stories providing greater visibility and understanding of deep-rooted inequities in all aspects of society.

Guest speakers also share insights on networking with a purpose, strategies for managing one’s career, and the experience of often being the only person of color in the newsroom.

The Journalism Camp is open to all students (undergrad, graduate) in good standing.

The application process runs from May 1 to 29. The weekly class will begin on September 7.

For more information about HZF’s Journalism Camp curriculum, how to apply, and ask questions – please email us at hortenciazavalafoundation

The Hortencia Zavala Foundation (HZF) was founded in 2016 in honor of Hugo Balta’s maternal grandmother.

HZF is a not-for-profit organization that helps students offset the costs of higher education with scholarships. In 2021, the organization expanded its support of students to include the Journalism Camp.

NHLN Opinion+: Cindy Coughlin

This week we invited Cindy Coughlin, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor at Catholic Charities New Hampshire.

Coughlin works with Spanish and English-speaking populations of all ages in the areas of mental health. 

The impact of the pandemic caused people to be disconnected from socialization opportunities. “There was an increase in depression and anxiety amongst teenagers and young adults,� explained Coughlin. The immigrant community faced severe mental health issues as they faced the uncertainty of attending work and attracting unwanted illnesses to their families as well as being unable to visit extended family in their home countries. The undocumented community continues to be fearful of reaching out to services.

A significant issue that communities of color face are having access to medical professionals who can speak the same language as they do. A lack of cultural sensitivity among professionals when serving marginalized groups causes them to steer away from these resources. Inspiring more ethnic minority students to pursue medical professional roles will contribute to alleviating negative stigmas around these resources. 

As we are exiting the pandemic we have yet to see the full impact on mental health. “Younger generations, as they get older will see effects of this period of lockdown and loss of routine over time,� explained Coughlin. People are reaching out for help more frequently and are taking strides for growth with the lessons learned from the pandemic. 

Catholic Charities strives to make affordable and accessible resources available to meet the needs of all families. The organization also makes an effort to make all voices heard. Therapy is for all people and not just for those with severe illnesses. It is the responsibility of all people to be understanding of all stories and seek the resources they need to succeed. 

Resources mentioned in the video: 

Young leaders need to run for office. Where are you?

Publisher’s Note: According to a 2015 report from Stateline and NCSL, the average age for a New Hampshire State legislator was 66—the highest in the country—while the average age in the state was 48. Data from the report also reveals that although millennials made up approximately 26% of New Hampshire’s 2015 population, they comprised only 1% of the state legislature. 

I had the opportunity to witness a State House Session last Thursday in Concord. Not going to lie, it is a pretty interesting event. I proceeded to find a seat in the Visitor’s Gallery. You get a powerful panoramic view of the Speaker pulpit and the members of the leadership for both parties.

Suddenly, I decided to look down and a wave of white hair from older State Representatives hit me, it was noticeable. I tried to find young Representatives, that look like me! By young I mean less than 35 years old. I counted 4 and to be honest they might be older than that. Then I thought why are college students or younger than 35 years old Granite staters not running for office? The answer is clear.

The system is not designed for young people to run for office. $200 a term? Who is paying for my rent? My gas? College expenses? It is hard.

Young Granite Staters need representation urgently. We have retirees walking all over our education. We have seniors, most likely not having more children passing legislation telling young women what to do with an unborn child.

Those halls are full of titles but empty of purpose. If you are young, ignore my feelings and run for office. It will be a sacrifice, believe me, but worth your efforts. We need urgent representation, otherwise, nothing will be left to fight for. 

Sebastian Fuentes speaks about being an immigrant in one of the “whitest” states in the country.

Cover Photo: The Chamber of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Publisher’s Note: Fuentes’ letter to the editor was first published by the Union Leader.

Hispanics-Latinos are the largest minority population in New Hampshire with 59,500 residents or 4.3 percent of the population, according to the University of NH.

Do you have something to say? We’re interested. Submit ideas for Opinion-Editorial essays and/or finished work to

Sebastian Fuentes is vice-chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Latino Caucus. Fuentes is an advocate for immigrant rights in the State of New Hampshire. He has spoken at multiple rallies, conferences, and panel discussions in order to raise awareness about the struggle of the Hispanic-Latino community in New Hampshire.

Invest in young journalists

My name is Cristal Miranda.

I’m a first-generation Mexican American Chicana, a mom, a wife, and I love hiking.

I graduated from San Diego City College with an Associate in Sciene (AS) in Radio and completed two certificates, one in News Production and the other in Performance.

I had a dream about working in radio, and that dream came true. I worked for iHeart radio as a board operator for about two years and loved every minute of it. My confidence grew, and I learned A LOT about myself during this discovery process.

The picture above was taken right before I went live for the first time on my college radio show. I was shaky and nervous and had so much support! I loved that the Meet the Artist podcast connected artists with other people through conversation with the audience.

In my spare time, I book, host, produce, interview, edit, and post my own podcast called MC3_SD. I interview San Diego locals- artists, and creatives and search out community stories that make San Diego the eclectic city it is! There are MANY stories to tell, so much love to shine on people by giving them an opportunity to open up and flourish.

I recently was hired at Fox 5 San Diego as a Studio Technician, and this Fall, I will study at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) under the Media Communications-Production program.

My hope in my new role at Fox is to bring diversity, demonstrate Latino/a strength (perseverance), knowledge, and culture. I want to bring ideas that will hopefully change others’ perspectives. I want to showcase what it is to be a hard worker with integrity, experience, and a smile.

School wasn’t an essential part of growing up when I was young. I mean, if I got “C’s� and passed, my mother wasn’t too worried about the state of my educated health. Before I knew it, here it was senior year. When I passed Creative Writing with my first A, I genuinely started to cry. Channeling my creative side became my strong suit.

When entering City College, I met many mentors who helped me tremendously, above and beyond. One of those essential people who guided me was Laura Castaneda.

Hugo Balta presents Cristal with the HZF Scholarship

Laura encouraged me to seek out scholarships that would help me financially on my path to completing schooling. To that end, she introduced me to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). The organization is a strong platform for networking with many professionals who are willing to answer the questions of aspiring journalists coming into the field. It felt like home to me.

Through the NAHJ San Diego/Tijuana professional chapter, I became aware of the Hortencia Zavala Foundation scholarship. And thanks to the award I received in 2018, I was able to purchase a laptop and complete online schooling. Winning the HZF scholarship gave me a boost to keep going! Even to the point of being accepted to my dream University. Scholarships like HZF provide young people like me, with the start we need to succeed.

I know there’s much more to learn, and I am humbled by the opportunities already given to me. I encourage others to invest in young journalists like myself by supporting organizations like HZF.

The Hortencia Zavala Foundation (HZF), established in 2016, is in honor of Hugo Balta’s maternal grandmother. A non-profit organization, HZF has collaborated with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) in awarding scholarships to 10 students.

Please consider making an investment in the future of journalism by making a donation to HZF via PayPal:, GoFundMe:, or Zelle under

Hugo Balta is the founder of HZF, twice national president of NAHJ, and owner/publisher of New Hampsire Latino News, part of the Latino News Network.


The Azteca stadium will witness another edition of the Concacaf Clasico, Mexico vs USA today. It will be the twelfth time the two CONCACAF giants will clash at the historic stadium in a World Cup qualifier, with the US having a dismal record of 6 losses, 3 draws, and zero victories.


Despite these numbers, the trend for the US is clearly positive. During their last two visits, they tied 0-0 in 2013 and 1-1 in 2017. There is also the Annus horribilis Mexico had this past 2021. They lost three times in a single year, the Nations League final in June, the Gold Cup final just two months later, and the World Cup qualifier in Ohio back in November.

The first two games were two contested matches with Mexico playing better football. The Nations League final was the novel tournament that had little at stake other than the pride of beating the archrival. The match was a back and forth game that went into extra-time after each team scored twice. Christian Pulisic was awarded a penalty kick, which he converted, just moments before the end of the first added half. Mexico got themselves their chance to tie the game, also with a penalty kick, but where the American captain succeeded, the Mexican captain – Andres Guardado – failed and thus, the first Concacaf Nations League trophy went to the US.

The Gold Cup final was tense and full of chances for both sides, ultimately Mexico played better but couldn’t reflect it on the scoreline. A lone goal by Miles Robinson in extra-time silenced Mexico’s fans at the new Allegiant stadium at Las Vegas and gave team USA their seventh Gold Cup, one behind Mexico.

Team USA wins the 2021 Gold Cup

If the final matches had been even, the match at Cincinnati for the World Cup was everything but. The US wasn’t overwhelming but never felt under distress. They controlled the game from A to Z and with two goals from their stars Pulisic and McKennie, they sealed yet another 2-0 at Ohio.


Both teams come to this match touched by injuries, however the US will play without perhaps the best player of these qualifiers, Juventus’ midfielder Weston McKennie, who broke his foot last February against Villareal in the Champions League. Another important player who will surely be missed is Sergiño Dest. Barcelona’s defender injured his hamstring last Thursday against Galatasaray in the Europa League. Chris Richards, Matt Turner and Brenden Aaronson are also to miss the match due to injury. 

The good news for the US is that Giovanni Reyna is back after battling with a hamstring injury he sustained during a World Cup qualifier game against El Salvador last September.

Mexico’s situation is not too different. They won’t be able to play with their captain Andres Guardado, who also sustained a hamstring injury playing against Atletico Madrid earlier in the month. Rodolfo Pizarro, Rogelio Funes Mori, ‘Cata’ Dominguez and goalie Jonathan Orozco are also missing the game because of injury. The silver lining for Mexico is that Orozco’s injury has opened the chance for Santos’ keeper and fan favourite Carlos Acevedo to be in the roster. 


Perhaps the most striking difference is in the age of the players that form these two teams. During their last match at Cincinnati, the US averaged 23.5 years whereas Mexico averaged a whopping 29. If we consider that France won the last world cup with 26 years on average – the youngest team to win since Brazil did it at Mexico averaging 25 – it seems that the future belongs to the Americans. But nothing is said for the immediate future and this Thursday, just like in any other deeply rooted rivalry, everything is set aside and winning is all that matters. May the best team win.

Publisher’s Note: New Hampshire Latino News and El Tri Online are partners in best serving Mexican soccer fans in the Granite State.