Gravy Podcast: The Pull of Pollo

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Rosa Rivas (L) and Noemi Barragan at the Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center.


Last December I spent a week in Northwest Arkansas, reporting a podcast for Gravy – The Southern Foodways Alliance’s podcast. There, I visited Springdale, Arkansas where I met animal welfare advocates, immigration activists, the owner of a famous local chicken restaurant, and nearly a dozen Latina poultry workers.

I discovered a vibrant, organized, politically engaged, and proud Latino community – predominantly Mexican and Central American – in a place where few expected them to be in such large numbers. And I found a town transformed by an industry, a mass migration of immigrants that had both revitalized and repopulated a sleepy rural town into the most ethnically diverse city in the state—and among the most diverse in the South. 

Listen to the Gravy Podcast, originally broadcast on January 28, 2016.

The Author

Von Diaz is a writer and radio producer based in New York City. She is a self-taught cook who explores Puerto Rican food, culture, and identity through memoir and multimedia. Her work has been featured on NPR, American Public Media, StoryCorps, WNYC, PRI’s The World, BuzzFeed, Colorlines, and Feet in 2 Worlds.

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