It’s 7:15AM on our second-to-last day in Tijuana, and radio journalist Erika Aguilar is dancing with excitement at another journalistic discovery beside our breakfast table. Jordi, my fixer for the day, and I look at each other, laugh, shrug, and go back to eating – this is pretty much par for the course for the (seemingly) boundlessly energetic Erika.
Whether it’s pushing politicians to go beyond their pre-prepared responses, making fast friends with street vendors at San Ysidro, or just goofing around with the fellows and IWMF team, Erika has an innate reporter’s instinct for bringing out the personal and the unguarded from just about anyone.
“My strengths are not being afraid to go up cold and convincing people to tell them your story…and also to dig until getting to the bottom,” Erika shared.
I had the privilege of reporting with Erika several times throughout this trip, and each time, I filled up my notebook with nearly as many notes on how to interview as on the topics of hand. Not at all surprising from a ten-year veteran of NPR. Follow @erikaaguilar on Twitter for updates on her stories from Tijuana on infrastructure and bilingual education.
– Eileen Guo