Pop-Up Magazine - Stories Celebrating Latinx Voices
Stories for Hispanic Heritage Month
With support from Google

A new collection of stories celebrating Latinx voices. Tales of fearless creativity, songs of love and longing, inspired advice for public speaking, and more. Pop-Up Magazine brings true stories to life with intimate and moving performances, stunning visuals, and original music.

Presented as part of Hispanic Heritage Month With support from Google

Mimi y Los Comandos

Colombian American filmmaker Juliana Schatz Preston shares the story of Mimi, a teenage volunteer paramedic in El Salvador. After Mimi loses a friend to gang violence, she’s forced to consider the dangers of life in her hometown against the unknowns of immigrating to the United States.

By Juliana Schatz Preston

From the archive

Varsity Oro

In South Texas, the Friday night lights don’t just shine for high school football. Filmmaker Alejandra Vasquez follows Mariachi Oro of Edinburg North High School as they compete against 80 other teams to defend their elite title.

By Alejandra Vasquez

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First-generation Cuban American Maxeme Tuchman comes from a long line of tenacious small business owners, but she's created a lot of firsts. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and then received an MBA and MPP from Harvard. She’s also the first Latinx founder in the U.S. to raise $1 million in Equity Crowdfunding for her game-changing startup Caribu, the interactive video-calling platform for kids and families. Here, she shares how her family’s saga inspired her to launch her business and ensure families like hers stay connected.

By Maxeme Tuchman

Public Speaking

While living in Lima, Peruvian American writer Daniel Alarcón stumbled upon a strange little book featuring inspirational (and incredibly specific) advice for public speaking. At first, it appears to be fun and cheeky, but the pulp novelty reveals deep insights into the complex diversity of cultures within contemporary Latin America.

By Daniel Alarcón
Illustrations by Josh Cochran

The Serenade

L.A.-based musician La Marisoul tells the story of Los Jornaleros del Norte, a band made up of former and working day laborers in Los Angeles. The band’s cumbias and norteñas have become a soundtrack for the labor and immigration movement, played at immigration marches, in front of detention centers, and at City Hall.

By Josh Kun
Narrated by La Marisoul
Illustrations by Arianna Vairo
Photography by John Francis Peters

Signed, Papi

Writer, illustrator, and ¡Hola Papi! advice columnist JP Brammer responds to three funny, moving, and surprising questions from readers about Latinidad and identity. His reflections include earnest advice — and a reminder to always find the humor in our own problems.

By John Paul Brammer
Animations by Natalia Rojas Castro

Call and Response

Writer and Pop-Up Magazine contributing producer José Vadi shares the story of Rachel Smith and Alex Torres, two young strangers driven by a shared desire to use whatever skills they had to address the devastating effects of the pandemic in the Latino and African American communities.

By José Vadi
Illustrations by Derek Abella
Photographs by Arlene Mejorado

Discussion Guide & Watch Party

Great resources for educators, community groups, ERGs, and anyone interested in going deeper with our stories. Download the discussion guide or host your own virtual watch party with this customized link to all six stories. Questions, or interested in inviting one of our producers for a Q+A?
Email roseli@popupmagazine.com.

View the guide Virtual Watch Party

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Storytellers & Performers

Daniel Alarcón (“Public Speaking”) is a writer and journalist and the host of NPR’s Spanish-language podcast, Radio Ambulante. He teaches at the Columbia Journalism School. His latest book of stories, The King Is Always Above the People, is available now.

John Paul Brammer (“Signed, Papi”) is an author and illustrator based in Brooklyn. He currently runs the popular advice column “¡Hola Papi!” and is set to publish a memoir of the same name with Simon & Schuster’s flagship imprint in June 2021.

Josh Kun (“The Serenade”) is an award-winning writer, professor and chair in Cross Cultural Communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and a 2016 MacArthur fellow. He is the author of several books, including Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, and is director of the The Popular Music Project at USC’s Norman Lear Center.

La Marisoul (“The Serenade”) was born Eva Marisol Hernandez in DTLA (downtown L.A.), the diverse and vibrant heart of Los Angeles. Growing up in Mexico and the United States exposed her to American pop culture and the roots of traditional folkloric music, shaping her musical sensibility. Her musical group, La Santa Cecilia, won the Grammy in 2014 for Best Latin Rock Album for Treinta Días.

Juliana Schatz Preston (“Mimi y los Comandos”) is a Colombian American documentary filmmaker. Her film Los Comandos was shortlisted for a 2019 Academy Award. She contributed to 12 documentaries at Frontline — including two Emmy Award winners and one Peabody Award winner. Her coverage of the Egyptian revolution with The GroundTruth Project was nominated for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

José Vadi (“Call and Response”) is an essayist, poet, playwright, and film producer based in Oakland, California. His debut essay collection, Inter State, will be published by Soft Skull Press in fall 2021.

Alejandra Vasquez (“Varsity Oro”) is a documentary filmmaker from West Texas. She and her filmmaking partner, Sam Osborn, recently released Night Shift, a four-part series about New Yorkers who work the graveyard shift. The two are also working on a magical realism project that takes place on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Sponsor Content

Maxeme Tuchman (“Buscándole”), a first-generation Cuban American, was the first Latinx founder to raise $1 million in Equity Crowdfunding, was named one of Inc. magazine’s Top 100 Female Founders in 2019 and is currently a participant in the Google for Startups Academy.

With support from Google

Artists & Musicians

Derek Abella (“Call and Response”) is an illustrator living and working in Brooklyn. His ethereal work pulls from his queer and Cuban American identities and has been commissioned by a wide range of editorial and commercial clients.

Cheche Alara (musical director) is a multiple Grammy- and Latin Grammy Award–winning composer, producer, arranger, and conductor. He has composed music for The Titan Games, Death by Magic, To Tell the Truth, and The ALMA Awards, and has worked with notable artists, including Lady Gaga, Natalia Lafourcade, Barbra Streisand, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Mike Patton, Alejandro Sanz, Colbie Caillat, and more.

Natalia Rojas Castro (“Signed, Papi”) is a visual artist from Bogotá, Colombia, and the CEO of creative studio Los Naked, which makes handmade objects, illustrations, animations, and more. She loves to cook, ride bikes, and be the best at karaoke.

Josh Cochran (“Public Speaking”) is an illustrator and muralist based in Brooklyn. His work has received many awards, including a Grammy nomination for album artwork. His children’s book, Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring, is available now.

Los Jornaleros Del Norte (“The Serenade”) was created after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid that took place in the City of Industry in 1996 while a mobile health clinic of the Los Angeles County Health Department was providing HIV and other STD testing. Omar Sierra, a founding member of the band, was present during the raid and decided to write a corrido (ballad) about the incident. The band’s purpose is to inform, educate, organize, and mobilize day workers, sensitize the general community about day-labor-related issues, and denounce the abuses committed against them.

Arlene Mejorado (“Call and Response”) is a lens-based artist and documentarian from Los Angeles. She is a 2019 Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice fellow and a former teaching artist at Las Fotos Project. Arlene has worked on assignments for The California Sunday Magazine, The Intercept, Vogue, Google, Vox, ProPublica, and Buzzfeed News. She holds a B.A. in Latin American studies from The University of Texas at Austin and is currently working on her M.F.A. in Visual Arts at the University of California in San Diego.

John Francis Peters is a photographer based in San Diego, California. His work has been profiled by The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harvard University and Time magazine, and he has been appointed to produce original works for public venues such as Grand Park in Los Angeles.

Arianna Vairo (“The Serenade”) specializes in illustration. She has created art for The New York Times, the Marina Abramovic Institute, and Bocconi University, Milan, among other clients. Her work has been exhibited and recognized in Italy and worldwide. She teaches printmaking at the European Institute of Design, Milan.