|Comadres al Aire (Comadres on Air) is a Spanish-language podcast to talk about health del vientre al subconsciente, from the womb to the subconscious. In Comadres estamos en confianza, we are among friends.|
Our podcast is an intimate space, a place in which we’re all comadres. We come together as doctors, therapists, mothers, lovers, abuelitas, and journalists to build an informed community of mutual aid to change narratives about our health and confront inequalities.
In each 30-minute episode we tackle topics that are not openly discussed in immigrant communities due to taboos and myths: mental health, motherhood, sexuality, grief. We break those barriers by using a good dose of humor, our own vulnerability, science, journalism and storytelling.
Our show is hosted by two comadres and colleagues. Maritza L. Félix, who immigrated from Mexico and considers the border her home, and Valeria Fernández, who immigrated from Uruguay. We are award-winning journalists who have reported for national audiences in radio, magazine, TV, documentary, and newspapers in both English and Spanish, and are excited to return to our roots in Spanish-language community reporting.
In our careers, we’ve seen how misinformation travels fast in our communities, but have also learned that we are connected in powerful ways through family ties, neighborhoods, and workplace networks. Our goal is to deliver vital information for marginalized women, non binary and trans people, one comadre at a time and one story at a time.
The need is urgent. We know that immigrant women in this country are uninsured at higher rates than natives, and among them, those who are undocumented are left out of the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, changes in policies like the public charge rule, under the former Trump administration, sent a chilling effect and discouraged immigrant families from applying for services they qualified for under the law. Undoing that harm, takes time.
Historically, fear of discrimination or being turned over to immigration authorities, lack of culturally appropriate services, and language barriers have stood on the way of these immigrant populations interacting and trusting the healthcare system. During the pandemic, this population was hard hit by the virus, and yet experienced challenges accessing Covid-19 testing sites, and has been targeted with misinformation about vaccines.
The pandemic only underscored preexisting inequalities, impacting these immigrant communities in disproportionate ways. But it has also created an opportunity to start transforming how journalists interact with Spanish-speaking audiences. Instead of thinking of them as just consumers, we can think of them as participants that are empowering each other with information.