Valeria Fernández

@valfernandez

Valeria Fernández is an independent investigative journalist focused on amplifying voices of immigrant communities. She recently received a Nieman Visiting Fellowship at Harvard University to develop Comadres al Aire. Her most recent work can be found in The Guardian, California Sunday Magazine, Latino USA, 70 Million and the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. She has produced documentaries and reports for Discovery Spanish, CNN Español, Sky TV, Al Jazeera, and PBS, and co-directed the award-winning documentary, “Two Americans,” which follows the plight of a 9-year-old girl fighting to stop her parents’ deportations under the reign of notorious Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Her reporting on abuses of incarcerated Central American youth in Mexico was published by PRI’s TheWorld and NPR’s Spanish-language podcast, Radio Ambulante. She was a 2020 National Health Fellow at the Center for Health Reporting at USC Annenberg. Her fellowship project led to the broadcast of a series of stories in Spanish for Radio Bilingue and in English for PRX’s The World on how immigrant communities and people of color in Arizona are organizing around healing during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently a mentor at the Center for Health Reporting for journalists reporting on domestic violence. As an immigrant from Uruguay, she started her career at La Voz newspaper and later became a correspondent for CNN Spanish, and the Associated Press. She is a 2009 Feet in Two Worlds fellow where she received training to work on public radio and crossover to English media. She was a finalist for the 2020 James Beard Award for investigative reporting. In 2018, Heising-Simons Foundation honored her with the $100,000 American Mosaic Journalism Prize for her freelance coverage of underrepresented communities. She is a former professor and director of Cronkite Noticias, a student-led Spanish news service at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Early in her career she was recognized for her immigration coverage with multiple awards at the Arizona Press Club and the Arizona Newspaper Association. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and they are raising a curious toddler.

Programs
Reporting Locations

Reporting

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E8 El Placer

EPISODE SUMMARY Hablemos de lo que nos gusta, lo que nos prende y lo que nos hace vibrar en la cama. Sí, quitémosle el tabú a la conversación del sexo, el orgasmo y la masturbación……

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E7 El Consentimiento

EPISODE SUMMARY No es no, ¿por qué nos cuesta tanto entenderlo? Es hora de que hablemos del consentimiento y rompamos la cadena hereditaria, social y cultural que nos ata a la sumisión. No nos vamos…

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E6 El Apapacho

EPISODE SUMMARY El pecho es ese lugar del cuerpo que nos cuida el corazón, es el bálsamo y la paz, y la conexión con nuestros hijos. Acompáñanos a hablar de la maternidad y lo poco…

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E5 El Ser

EPISODE SUMMARY ¡Bienvenides! ¿Cómo se descubre y se desvela la identidad de género? Aaron es un hombre trans que nos cuenta el momento en el que decidió liberarse; Dora Mejía nos relata el momento en…

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E4 El Corazón

EPISODE SUMMARY Hablemos de lo que nos callamos, de lo que nos duele, del luto que llevamos en la ropa y en el corazón. En este episodio recorreremos el duelo a través de la poderosa…

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E3 El Alma

EPISODE SUMMARY Hay un hilo ancestral que nos une a nuestra gente, nuestras raíces y nuestros ancestros…hay quienes le decimos alma. Hoy la redescubrimos de la mano de la María del Carmen Parra “chef María”,…

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E2 El Vientre

EPISODE SUMMARY Hay un lugar de nuestro cuerpo que da vida, transforma emociones y sangra: El vientre. Hablemos hoy de los periodos dolorosos, las menstruaciones abundantes y la endometriosis, sin romanticismos ni tabúes. Pásale a…

| Maritza L. Félix, Valeria Fernández

Comadres al Aire – S1:E1 La Mente

EPISODE SUMMARY La pandemia nos obligó a encerrarnos y, como no podíamos salir, tuvimos que echarnos un clavado a nuestro interior. En este primer episodio te contamos la historia de Sandra, una mujer que tuvo…

| Valeria Fernández, Karen Coates

The Migrant Student Club

  Please Visit NPR for the full podcast. Over 300,000 students in the U.S. migrate every year to work in agriculture, from spring to fall. At a high school in South Texas, when these students…

| Valeria Fernández, Karen Coates

The Migrant Student Club

This story was produced with support from the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Education Writers Association. Reyes started migrating when he was 9 years old, traveling cross-country from his home in South Texas to…

| Valeria Fernández, Karen Coates

A Moment On The Farm

South Texas is known for commercial agriculture, with its vast fields of sugarcane, citrus, and vegetables. And most of that food goes far beyond the Rio Grande Valley. But one immigrant family from El Salvador…

| Valeria Fernández, Karen Coates

Las manos jóvenes que nos dan de comer

Un viento persistente recorre los surcos en un interminable campo cebollero en el Valle de Río Grande en Texas. Es una calurosa mañana del fin de semana de Pascua. Berenice, de 16 años y su…

| Koral Carballo, Valeria Fernández

The Death and Life of Frankie Madrid

AUGUST 1, 2019 The U.S. had been his home since he was 6 months old. When he was deported 
to Mexico 26 years later, it was more than he could bear. By Valeria Fernández Photographs…

| Valeria Fernández, Karen Coates

The Young Hands That Feed Us

An estimated 524,000 children work unimaginably long hours in America’s grueling agricultural fields, and it’s all perfectly legal. It was the last day of March of 2018, the day before Easter, the season of onions.…

| Valeria Fernández

The Kids Who Pick Your Produce

  https://www.iwmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Young_hands_bb.mp3   America has a secret hidden in plain sight: more than half a million children – ages 12 and in certain situations, younger – are legally laboring on farms, often in dangerous and…

| Valeria Fernández

The Mexican government says it will help people who are deported, but they often are left to make it on their own

Omar Blas Olvera visited Sea World, in Florida, with his wife Gloria and children, Esperanza and Angel, in May, 2017. The family lives separately for now, since Omar was deported from the US to Mexico…

| Valeria Fernández

Madre salvadoreña con traumas de violencia enfrenta corte de inmigración sin ayuda legal ni psicológica

En California por lo menos 17 mil salvadoreños esperan proceso en las cortes de inmigración. Algunos son migrantes que han huido la violencia para buscar asilo en Estados Unidos. Su primera cita con un juez…

| Valeria Fernández

She escaped violence in El Salvador, but there’s little time or resources to heal while seeking asylum in the US

Yocelyn’s 18-month-old has chickenpox. Her younger brother, who is 21, caught it too. “I take the kids to the doctor because they have Medi-Cal, but we have to put up with it if we get…

| Valeria Fernández

An American family finds their way in Mexico after deportation

Katerina Barron speaks with her mother Lucy Karrys at lunchtime in a local restaurant as her children Adero and Sedona play. Her family moved to Mexico in June 2017 after her husband was deported. Credit: Valeria…

| Valeria Fernández

He’s been deported twice. This third time, his family is leaving the US with him

Katerina Karrys Barron packed her two toddlers in the back seat of her gold Honda sedan and set course towards Mexico. She hadn’t slept all night, and it seemed like the months her husband was…