"My two sons' godmother, who is a first-generation Dominican in New York City, was having a really, really hard time getting through to her mother about taking extra precautions during the start of the COVID pandemic," says Juleyka Lantigua, host and creator of How to Talk to [Mamí & Papí] about Anything, Apple Podcasts' Spotlight show for January 2023. "It was like they were speaking to each other in two different languages. The cultural and generational differences between them seemed to push them further apart as their conversations progressed. I realized they represented millions of children and parents enmeshed in a drag-out white-knuckle fight because those of us who are 'Americanized' see the world—and most importantly, live in the world—very differently from our immigrant parents."
Lantigua, who is a veteran reporter and founder and CEO of the digital audio and production company LWC Studios, launched How to Talk to [Mamí & Papí] about Anything in 2020. She found out quickly that many listeners could relate to the experiences discussed on the show. "It was a grand experiment, and we were nervous and excited," she says. "And then the emails started pouring in from listeners who never knew they needed these conversations or those who wished they'd had the show growing up 20,30, 50 years ago!"
Each episode features a listener with a problem that can range from navigating relationships with parents who disapprove of their spouse to maintaining a relationship with a difficult parent for the sake of the grandchildren. An expert on the episode’s topic joins Lantigua on the show to offer professional advice and analyze the generational and cultural dynamics at play. "So many of us straddle that hyphen of being American and something else. So many of us are trying to honor our parents' ways while making our own way in the world," Lantigua says. "This is a place to find solace and really good advice."
After nearly 150 episodes, Lantigua is taking the plunge into extending the brand with a sister show, How to Talk to [High Achievers] about Anything. And her hope is that there’s more where that came from. "My vision is that the "How to Talk to" franchise continues to grow and serve the rising-majority audience in the US for years to come.”