Meet Rufina & Ricardo

Rufina was the first woman to arrive from the Oaxacan highlands of Santa María Tavehua, Mexico to Los Angeles. In the span of twenty years, most of the village followed. Today, many have gone back but the population is still split between Mexico and the US - 250 of the 500 villagers live in LA's Koreatown. Ricardo is Rufina's son.

Meet Dominga & Panchito:
Panchito is one Dominga's five US-born grandchildren. Dominga calls herself an indigenous Zapotec. Although Panchito is from LA, he describes himself as "American", "Oaxacan" and "Tavehuan". Get a glimpse into their stories of departure, arrival and going back.

A short-film by Carmen Vidal produced for KCRW's Sonic Trace with help from Anayansi Diaz-Cortes & Eric Pearse Chavez. A special thanks to Julieta Mendez.


Sonic Trace is KCRW's story-telling project that begins in the heart of Los Angeles and crosses into Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Part radio, part video, Sonic Trace maps LA residents' answers to the questions:

¿Por qué te vas? Why do you go?
¿Por qué te quedas? Why do you stay?
¿Por qué regresas? What makes you return?

Sonic Trace is brought to you by KCRW and Localore, a national initiative produced by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio. It is Incorporated, and with financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. It's broadcast home is KCRW's Independent Producer Project. The project is co-produced by Zeega, a non-profit inventing new forms of interactive storytelling.

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