The BBC is coming to Houston. The BBC en español, that is. The idea was to send a team on a two-week long trip across the U.S. speaking only Spanish. Reporter José Baig and producer Carlos Ceresole started in Florida last week and are slowly working their way across the South, blogging every pit stop along the way. So far, the team has discovered — breaking news here — that many Latino immigrants work in crappy jobs that cheat workers out of paychecks.
When we got a call from Baig yesterday afternoon, we learned he meant business. Although he’s fluent in English, he didn’t even switch from Spanish to explain his whereabouts in Houston. It’s all Spanish, all the time, no matter whom he’s talking to.
So what’s the point? Could this be the BBC’s attempt at Borat en español in which another group of Brits reveal the hypocrisy and boorishness of rural America? That one never gets old. Perhaps the team has discovered a profound insight into the cultural transformation on the American South. We aim to find out later today when the Houston Press and the BBC go mano a mano en español.
Be sure to check back with updates to find out what it’s like traveling coast to coast without speaking English. – Russell Cobb
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.