Andrew Mendez | KUNR

Andrew Mendez

Bilingual student reporter

Andrew Mendez is a sophomore at the University of Nevada, Reno, majoring in journalism and Spanish. He is a first-generation student and has a passion to the elevate voices of those who may not typically be heard in media.

As a bilingual reporter for The Nevada Sagebrush and KUNR, Andrew is committed to telling stores that impact the local Latinx community.

Outside of reporting, Andrew is involved in the Reynolds School of Journalism: Journalism Student Council, the Latino Student Advisory Board, and FIJI Fraternity. In his free time, he enjoys going out with friends, traveling, and learning about other cultures and beliefs.

Una ilustración conceptual de Ricardo Salazar cantando. Detrás de él hay una pancarta de papel picado, y en primer plano le rodean notas musicales y teclas de piano. Los miembros de su familia también están ilustrados cerca de su corazón.
Lauren Ibañez / NPR Next Generation Radio

Read in English.

Esta historia es parte de una serie del programa Next Generation Radio de NPR que exploró el tema ¿Qué significa ser estadounidense?

A conceptual illustration of Ricardo Salazar singing. A papel picado banner is placed behind him, and music notes and piano keys surround him in the foreground. His family members are also illustrated near his heart.
Lauren Ibañez / NPR Next Generation Radio

Lee en español.

This story is part of a series by NPR’s Next Generation Radio program, which explored the theme: What Does It Mean To Be An American?

Growing up, Ricardo Salazar would unapologetically blast traditional Mexican music from the back of his parents’ car. For Salazar, music became the way he was able to express himself and connect to his identity as an American and a Mexican. 

Dos mujeres sacan la cabeza de un coche de plata con un cartel que dice "Vegas Open Up Safely Workers Lives Depend of it".

Read in English.

El sindicato que representa a miles de trabajadores de casinos en Nevada dice que la industria necesita ser transparente en cómo pretende reabrir.

Two females stick their heads out of a silver car with a sign reading "Vegas Open Up Safely Workers Lives Depend On It."
Photo courtesy of the Culinary Workers Union

Lee en español.

The labor union representing thousands of Nevada’s casino workers says the industry needs to be transparent in how it intends to reopen.

More than 10,000 Culinary Union employees drove up and down the Las Vegas Strip on Tuesday, May 12, as part of an effort to get casinos to implement stronger public health policies and disclose their full reopening plans. 

Una mujer dando comida destras de una ventana
Aramelle Wheeler / Banco de Alimentos del norte de Nevada

El Banco de Alimentos del norte de Nevada ha visto un aumento en la cantidad de personas que necesitan alimentos durante el cierre de negocios impuestos por el estado. Hay dificultades dentro de la organización para alimentar a todos que lo necesitan.

El Strip de Las Vegas por la noche vacío frente al Caesars Palace Hotel y Casino.
Andrew Mendez / KUNR

Después del cierre de los negocios no esenciales en Nevada durante 30 días, muchos trabajadores de casinos se quedan sin trabajo. 

Darling Parelta trabajaba como un portera de casino en el Sahara Hotel y Casino ubicado en el famoso Strip de Las Vegas. 

Según el Associated Press, el cierre afecta a más de 200 mil empleados de casinos de Nevada. Parelta es una de ellas.


Ella dice que el cierre da miedo y que solo puede pensar en sus hijos.    

Un letrero de madera en una ventana que dice, "Lo siento, estamos cerrados".

El estado de Nevada está viendo un aumento en los nuevos reclamos de desempleo debido a los cierres de negocios anunciados por el gobernador Steve Sisolak. Varias personas dicen que les está resultando difícil solicitar el desempleo por el aumento de las solicitudes.


The Nevada Strip at night empty facing the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino.
Andrew Mendez / KUNR

After the closure of Nevada’s non-essential businesses for 30 days, many casino workers are left without a job. 

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For recent updates on Coronavirus in Nevada, visit our updates and resources webpage.

Southern Nevada Health District Announces Three New Positive Cases Of COVID-19
A Total Of Five Presumptive Positive Cases Reported In Clark County

Turkel said, "The Latinx community in this country has always kind of been treated as a second-class community. We would love to see our community addressed in a way that’s dignified and acknowledges us as American…"
Andrew Mendez / KUNR

Democratic hopefuls have made attempts to reach out to Spanish-speaking communities, but voters in Northern Nevada have said candidates are not doing enough to reach them before the caucus.

In the past few weeks, most of the candidates have boosted their efforts to reach Latinx voters, by dropping campaign ads in Spanish ahead of Nevada’s caucus.

People sit in a semicircle in a club-lit room as they sing.
Andrew Mendez / KUNR Public Radio

Coming into the 2020 Nevada Democratic caucus, many LGBTQ+ voters say they want to see presidential candidates who will speak out about the community's unique issues. 

It’s a Friday night and about 15 people chime in as Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” comes on. They are at Our Center in Reno, the only LGBTQ+ community center for Northern Nevada, which is decorated with flashing colored lights for a regular event called "Queer Karaoke." 

Exterior of the Washoe County School District Administration Building.
Andrew Mendez / KUNR

The Washoe County School District has a shortage of teacher aides and assistants in special education programs. The district is looking to fill 100 open positions.

Blue and black pull quote saying "We don’t just look for 2020. We have issues that have been here for hundreds and hundreds of years."
Andrew Mendez / KUNR

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas recently hosted the 2020 Native American Presidential Forum where some Democratic hopefuls addressed indigenous communities and their concerns. 

Four presidential hopefuls participated, including Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard.  Steyer appeared in person while the others sent in prerecorded messages or appeared on video chat.

Representatives from various tribes across the country asked the candidates questions on topics ranging from climate change to economic development for Native communities. 

Attendees sit as they listen to a presentation.
my learning / Flickr Creative Commons

The Nevada Democratic Party is hosting a series of interactive sessions where voters can get a better understanding of how to caucus.

Joe Biden stands next to a podium with the U.S. flag and Nevada state flag behind him as he talks with voters.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden campaigned across Nevada over the weekend. At his stop in Sparks, Biden focused heavily on foreign policy amidst America’s ongoing tensions with Iran. KUNR’s Andrew Mendez reports. 

The former vice president rallied with more than 500 voters at Sparks High School, according to campaign officials. 

Biden criticized Donald Trump, saying the president has not kept his promise to end wars in the Middle East, where tensions have grown in light of Trump’s recent order of an airstrike that killed Iran’s top military leader.

Alexa Ard / KUNR

This semester, the University of Nevada, Reno has seen a rise in the number of hateful acts on campus. Our bilingual student reporter, Andrew Mendez, sat down with Eloisa Gordon-Mora, UNR’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer, to see how that has affected the campus environment.

Last semester, the University of Nevada, Reno had multiple reported cases of swastikas being found around campus, in addition to white supremacist flyers. Our bilingual student reporter Andrew Mendez sat down with Atty Garfinkle-Berry, the director of Hillel of Northern Nevada to get an understanding of how these acts affect the Jewish community.

A wall decoration says, "The strength of the pack is the wolf...and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
Lucia Starbuck

This fall, the University of Nevada, Reno has been confronted with numerous acts of white supremacy, hate and bias on campus. Different incidents have occurred across multiple buildings, including Wolf Pack Tower, a residence hall located in downtown Reno. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck and Andrew Mendez visited the tower to see how students and staff are doing.

A pull quote is used to describe the words Christopher Monzon used when describing his experience at UNR.
Andrew Mendez

KUNR's bilingual student reporter Andrew Mendez has been looking into the unique obstacles Latinx students may face when they enter college. Along with reporting on the hurdles, he's been researching potential solutions on the local level. He joined our news director Michelle Billman to share his findings.