Deepa Fernandes

Freelance Radio Journalist @deepafern

Deepa Fernandes is a bilingual journalist who has covered guerrilla insurgencies, natural disasters and political coups in countries from Haiti to East Timor to the United States. She covers women’s and children’s issues, education, immigration, poverty and indigenous issues. Deepa has been named “Radio Journalist of the Year” three years in a row by the LA Press Club — 2016, 2017 and 2018. She won an LA Area Emmy in 2018, and has won dozens of awards over the course of her career. Most recently she was the Early Childhood Development Correspondent for KPCC in Los Angeles. Prior to Southern California Public Radio, Deepa was a national anchor for the Pacifica Radio network, she founded and ran a national non-profit that aimed to diversify the ranks of journalism by training new reporters in communities of color, and she was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford in 2012. She has an MA from Columbia University.

Reporting Locations


| Deepa Fernandes

Guatemala’s changing climate is forcing families to leave their homes, livelihoods

Shuffling through the acres of robust green bushes, plucking off the ripe red coffee beans and filling bucket after bucket was what Miguel Pol Suy did best. He didn’t earn much in his rural Guatemalan…

| Deepa Fernandes

What happens when an undocumented minor dies in the United States?

Jose López Ramirez had big dreams. He wanted to be a famous singer and he believed he would be discovered and become a star. But the 16-year-old couldn’t realize these dreams from his rural, mountainous…

| Deepa Fernandes

As kids health suffered, one Guatemalan town is trying to adapt to climate change

Elvira Mauricia Díaz with her family, including Oscar, 6, and Brian, 8, who live in a mountainous village town near Comitancillo, Guatemala. The children’s health has suffered as extreme weather swings have cut into the…

| Deepa Fernandes

These American kids are adapting to new lives in El Salvador after their dad was deported

When Waldo Martínez left Sensuntepeque in the early ’90s, escaping El Salvador’s civil war, he never thought he’d be back 25 years later with an American wife and four Las Vegas-born kids. Sensuntepeque is a…

| Deepa Fernandes

Will Trump continue Obama’s program to aid Central American teens fleeing gangs?

Ana Riva was at work one day in 2015 when she got an urgent call from her 16-year-old nephew, Juan. It was a moment that she had always feared would come, since she took over…

| Deepa Fernandes

A brother and sister flee gang violence in El Salvador and start over in the US

Kevin Alvarez Mejia leaves his house on the way to school in Riverside, California. He fled El Salvador with his sister after being threatened by a gang member. Credit: Deepa Fernandes/PRI Kevin Alvarez Mejía spent…

| Deepa Fernandes, Nadège Mazars

El Salvador’s new metal-mining ban is terrifying for ‘artisanal’ miners

At a gold mine in San Sebastian, an artisanal miner leaves the mine where he chipped out stones that will be processed to extract gold. Credit: Nadège Mazars/Hans Lucas Fredy Flores wears his black cowboy…