EL PASO, Texas – Twelve journalists from Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador spent a week conducting intensive reporting on immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border during a program organized in March 2024 by InquireFirst.

The program took journalists to two border cities – first to San Diego, California, and then to El Paso, Texas – to report on the complex and multifaceted immigration situation as the United States reported a record 2.5 million encounters with migrants in fiscal year 2023.

Journalists interviewed migrants who had been released on the streets in San Diego with orders to appear in immigration court, volunteers working with migrant aid organizations, Border Patrol agents and officials, migrants who had been detained after crossing the desert, and organizations whose immigration lawyers are assisting migrants with their asylum claims.

They journalists witnessed firsthand the stark contrasts marking the 2,000-mile border – the Pacific Ocean where migrants sometimes attempt to swim, jet ski or surf to the United States at the western end of the border and the harsh, unforgiving desert at the eastern end.

They interviewed Border Patrol Air and Marine Operations, which detains and rescues migrants arriving by boat and others walking through the Mexico-Texas desert. They also talked with Texas business owners who worry that the migration of people from around the world, people who sometimes pass through their property, will cost them their livelihoods.

This video by IR Producciones highlights the week that the journalists spent reporting on immigration.  InquireFirst will be working with groups of Latin American immigration journalists throughout the year.

Ecuadorian journalists from Quito were awarded Honorable Mention for Reporting in Digital Media by the National Journalists’ Union of Ecuador for their Voces Emergentes Ecuador project titled “In the Bubble: how to survive Down syndrome in Ecuador.” The award winners are: (l-r) Gabriela Coba, with Primicias, Kevin Hidalgo with Revista Vistazo, Emilia Paz y Miño with GK Ecuador, and Manuel Novik with Plan V. They completed their project in six weeks during the 2023 Voces Emergentes Ecuador program organized by InquireFirst.

InquireFirst projects recognized by prestigious national, international journalism awards

There’s cause for celebration at InquireFirst!

Five projects reported and written by Latin American journalists with the support of InquireFirst grants have been recognized by prestigious national and international journalism awards.

We are excited for a team of four early-career journalists in Quito, Ecuador, whose compassionate and data-driven project In the bubble: how to survive Down Syndrome in Ecuador was awarded Honorable Mention for Reporting in Digital Media by the National Journalists’ Union of Ecuador in February 2024.

Gabriela Coba, an Ecuadorian journalist with Primicias, Kevin Hidalgo with Revista Vistazo, Emilia Paz y Miño with GK Ecuador and Manuel Novik with Plan V, produced their in-depth project in just six weeks during our Voces Emergentes Ecuador program in the summer of 2023. 

Working as a team and guided by editor Gabriel Pasquini, a columnist with The Washington Post, the four journalists researched, wrote and published their multimedia project in August 2023.

This prestigious recognition of our Voces Emergentes project is the latest honor bestowed on work produced by Latin American journalists supported by InquireFirst grants.

Photojournalist Juan Antonio Castillo (left) and journalist Gustavo Cabullo Madrid of Ciudad Juárez received a gold medal (First Place) along with El Paso journalist Aracely Lazcano for their Historias Sin Fronteras paleontology project titled “Unearthed: The peaceful past of the most violent city in the world.”

At the U.S.-Mexico border our Historias Sin Fronteras cross-border paleontology project titled Unearthed: The peaceful past of “the most violent city in the world” was awarded a gold medal (First Place) in the Reporting category of the José Vasconcelos Prize for Journalists in the state of Chihuahua.

The project by Ciudad Juárez journalist Gustavo Cabullo Madrid and photojournalist Juan Antonio Castillo in collaboration with El Paso journalist Aracely Lazcano, was recognized in October 2023 with the top reporting award for compelling, science-based storytelling that took readers to a period in time when the northern Mexican desert was a placid sea rich with biodiversity.

The narrative artfully wove together the present and the past through the voices of police detectives who, in their search for the human remains of victims of violent crimes, often find the vestiges of a geological past.

On receiving the award, Aracely Lazcano told our Historias Sin Fronteras team, “I am super happy and honored to have collaborated on this project with all of you. I appreciate the invitation, the patience, and above all the opportunity to learn and continue growing. Not even in my wildest dreams did I think that something like this could happen!!!”

We also have good news from Zacatecas journalist Enrique Cordero, who participated in an immigration reporting trip that InquireFirst organized in April to the Texas-Mexico border.

Enrique produced a six-part, long-form television report titled Frontera for his media organization, Sistema Zacatecano de Radio y Televisión (Sizart). 

In December 2023, his series won an international award from Premios TAL in the category of Special Reports. TAL (Televisión América Latina) is a network of public, cultural and educational television stations in Latin America. 

Enrique wrote, “This a new beginning for me.”

We received more good news in December – this time from Geneva, Switzerland!

Our Montañas y Selva: Voices from the Andes and the Amazon project on the impact of 50 years of oil exploration in the Peruvian Amazon is a finalist for Excellence in Environmental Journalism in the international Fetisov Journalism Awards.

César Mozombite of the mainly Kukama community of Cuninico, on the lower Marañón River, says oil spills have brought economic hardship to the affected communities. Photo: Ginebra Peña

The project, Traces of Oil in the Peruvian Amazon which was published in July 2022, was supported by an InquireFirst grant and our editorial team of web developer, infographics designer and Spanish-English / Spanish-Portuguese translators. The project was edited by Bolivian environmental investigative journalist Eduardo Franco Berton.

The project was written by journalist Barbara Fraser in Lima and Indigenous journalists Marilez Tello and Leonardo Tello of Radio Ucamara in Peru’s Amazon. Their three-part series narrates a heartbreaking story about the effects of oil exploration on Indigenous people in Peru’s Amazon. 

We are thrilled that Barbara, Marilez and Leonardo are among the outstanding journalists from around the world whose work is being considered for the Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award! Barbara and Marilez have been invited to attend the Fetisov Awards ceremony in Istanbul in April 2024.

In another first for InquireFirst, our Historias Sin Fronteras project on fluoride pollution in Mexico and Argentina titled The axis of fluoride: corporate pollution which we published in December 2022 was chosen as a finalist in Mexico’s National Journalism Award in the Science Journalism category.

We are honored by the recognition of the outstanding reporting and writing by journalists Alejandro Saldívar in Mexico and Daniel Wizenberg in Argentina.

Their reporting garnered international attention and was published by several prominent media organizations, including the weekly news magazine Proceso in Mexico and Earth Island Journal in the United States.

The project was edited by Historias Sin Fronteras co-founder Iván Carrillo, a Mexico-based science editor and journalist.

InquireFirst, in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education (HHMI), launched Historias Sin Fronteras at the 2019 World Conference of Science Journalists in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Since awarding the first grant at that year’s conference, Historias Sin Fronteras has published 13 cross-border projects.

In addition to publishing on our own website, 52 media organizations from Canada to Argentina have published one or more of our Historias Sin Fronteras projects.

Historias Sin Fronteras
co-founder and editor Iván Carrillo awarded first-ever Earth Journalism Network fellowship

Our congratulations to Iván Carrillo, co-founder and editor of Historias Sin Fronteras, who received a 2024 Year-Long Reporting Fellowship – the first ever awarded by the Earth Journalism Network (EJN).

Iván is one of only four journalists in the world to receive this prestigious fellowship. The three other journalists who have been awarded the Fellowship are from Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil.

Since 2019, when InquireFirst launched Historias Sin Fronteras at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iván has guided 14 cross-border science, health and environment projects from idea to reporting to writing to publication.

He has worked with 40 journalists from countries throughout Latin America whose Historias Sin Fronteras projects have been published by 52 media organizations.

Ivan has focused much of his own reporting on climate change and the impact on biodiversity. His work has appeared in National Geographic and the Latin American editions of Newsweek. And he has collaborated with Discovery Channel, CNN in Español, El WESO, Radio Mexiquense, Grupo Expansión and many other media organizations. 

We are also thrilled that Iván is the co-founder and executive producer of our science, health and environment radio program, En Común: conocimiento en voz viva.

Iván traveled to London in February 2024 to attend an EJN orientation and training workshop that focuses on subjects such as covering global biodiversity policy, guidelines for reporting on Indigenous conservation practices, strategies to unpack climate science for audiences, the crucial role of ocean diplomacy, and much more.

Iván will be focusing his reporting during the Fellowship on biodiversity.

EJN Biodiversity Trainer Mike Shanahan, who will be working with Iván on story production and professional development, said, “There is no shortage of stories to tell about the many environmental challenges facing humanity, but it is rare for journalists to have the freedom to report in depth on these issues. EJN’s year-long fellowships will enable four highly committed journalists to immerse themselves in their chosen topics while developing their knowledge and skills through tailored support and training.”

Golden Globe Foundation supports En Común for fourth season of programming

We’re pleased to announce that InquireFirst has received funding from the Golden Globe Foundation for a fourth season of En Común: conocimiento en voz viva, our radio program on science, health and environment tailored for rural and Indigenous communities in Mexico.

The Golden Globe Foundation is providing funding that will make it possible for En Común to broadcast 20 weekly, science-based reports in 2024 on health and environmental issues that affect the Indigenous communities that form a multicultural mosaic of diverse ethnic identities, ancestral knowledge and cultural values in Mexico.

Our unique program — we are not aware of any other Spanish-language radio program directed by experienced international journalists that is focused on science, health and the environment – reaches millions of people in underserved rural and Indigenous communities with carefully reported, fact-based science, health and environmental programs.

The radio program shares the voices of Indigenous people in Mexico as our reporters – many of them Indigenous journalists working for the first time with an international media organization – record the concerns and the experiences of people in their communities.

En Común co-founder and executive producer Iván Carrillo and InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker have formed alliances with regional and national radio networks in Mexico that allow us to reach community radio stations stretching from Chiapas at Mexico’s southern border to Baja California at the U.S.-Mexico border.

We are looking forward to a new broadcast alliance for the fourth season of En Común. The System of Autonomous Media of the Autonomous University in the state of Hidalgo will broadcast our 20-episode season to an audience of 2 million people. The broadcast network operates six radio stations and a television station in central Mexico.

“The dissemination of science and the dissemination of knowledge will never be a simple task, but with the support of those who generate knowledge, as well as the media, this task becomes easier,” Ignacio Cárdenas Roldán, director general University System of Autonomous Media said.

“I want to thank you for having offered these reports for our consideration,” Cárdenas wrote to Carrillo. “They will undoubtedly have a very important impact on our audiences.”

InquireFirst is honored to be among the Golden Globe Foundation’s invited guests at a Grantees’ Dinner at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on January 5, 2024, as part of Golden Globes weekend.

Thanks to our Sponsor

2023 symposiums

Science Journalism Workshop

Exploring Baja California’s rich biodiversity and protecting its species for future generations

Baja California, México

June-November 2023

During our four-week environmental science journalism workshop, 25 reporters working at media organizations across the Baja California Peninsula will meet with U.S. and Latin American environmental writers and editors to discuss the urgent environmental stories that require coverage in the Baja California-California region.

Our speakers will discuss ways to address environmental challenges faced by residents in the region as well as topics ranging from the dwindling flow of the Colorado River to the rebirth of the California condor population to environmental justice.

They will also discuss methods to make science writing compelling to mass audiences, how to engage audiences in citizen science, and equally important, staying safe while conducting environmental investigations.

The second part of the workshop will focus on hands-on reporting, with Baja California journalists teaming with U.S. scientists and researchers working on the Baja Peninsula for field visits and in-depth environmental reporting.

Photo by Shutterstock

Voces Emergentes Ecuador

Investigative Journalism
for the Next Generation of Reporters

July 17-August 25, 2023

The 24 early-career journalists selected for this program will work in teams to produce timely and relevant multimedia projects that will focus on some of the most urgent problems confronting the people of Ecuador.

The journalists will be guided by our international team of editors as they report and write an in-depth investigative project and produce multimedia elements such as photo slideshows, interactive graphics, audio and videos. They will work with their editors to ensure that they handle their subjects with sensitivity, with accurate and careful reporting, and above all, with the highest standards of journalistic ethics and professionalism.

At the conclusion of the six-week program, the projects will be published on our website,


World Conference of Science Journalism

MEDELLIN, Colombia — When we organize a workshop at InquireFirst, we put journalists to work!

That’s exactly what happened during our day-long March 27 workshop at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Medellin. Almost 40 journalists from 14 countries joined us for our Historias Sin Fronteras workshop, which focused on strengthening science, health and environmental journalism through cross-border reporting.

Mérida, Yucatán

MERIDA, Mexico – “There’s no more important work than the work being done by journalists,” said Brian O’Donnell, director of Campaign for Nature, during a February 2020 environmental investigative journalism workshop organized by InquireFirst.

As the world witnesses a “massive acceleration in extinction” of species, coverage of

Medellín & Cali, Colombia

MEDELLIN, Colombia – InquireFirst Executive Director Lynne Walker met with journalists in Medellín and Cali, Colombia, July 29-August 3 to discuss new techniques for conducting investigative reporting.

During the programs organized by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Walker led interactive sessions with journalists who cover

Lausanne, Switzerland

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – We’re pleased to announce that InquireFirst has awarded our first reporting grants to a team of Latin American science writers to support their work on a cross-border regional health story.

The reporters on the team were selected during our Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop, which was

Mexico City

MEXICO CITY – “Writing is music…language can be used in so many creative ways,” Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT, told almost 30 science and health journalists attending our regional workshop in Mexico City.

As Blum lead journalists through an interactive workshop on narrative science

Fullerton, Calif.

FULLERTON, Calif. – Top U.S. journalists joined InquireFirst as speakers at our “Transparency and Investigative Reporting” workshop Feb. 25-March 1, when Latin American journalists traveled to Southern California to attend sessions on fact-checking, in-depth investigative reporting, cyber security and reporting with drones.

Among our speakers were:

Ginger Thompson, senior reporter
Guayaquil, Ecuador

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador -- S. Lynne Walker, President and Executive Director of InquireFirst, traveled to Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador, in January 2019 to instruct a series of interactive workshops titled “Investigative Journalism in High-Risk Situations.”

In Guayaquil, journalists from newspapers, television networks and online news sites participated in a nine-hour interactive

Palo Alto, Calif.

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Latin American science journalists were presented with a host of new professional development opportunities during the Jack F. Ealy Science Journalism Workshop at Stanford University.

The June 17-21, 2018 workshop, organized by InquireFirst and Mexico City-based Fundación Ealy Ortiz, focused on training opportunities – with Latin

San José, Costa Rica

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Science and health journalism should not be limited by international borders. Complex new health threats such as Zika virus that occur in a “noisy” media environment require a new model of reporting, Andrew Revkin, strategic adviser on science and environmental journalism for The National Geographic

México City

MEXICO CITY – Prominent Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui said the internet presents “a great light and a great shadow ” for journalism in an era of fake news

On the opening day of a journalism TechCamp in Mexico City, Aristegui acknowledged “there is serious questioning” of the



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