Author on the Airwaves: Dr. Juan Guerra

Guerra chosen as September 2017’s “Author of the Month” on Houston Public Media

Houston Public Media radio host Eric Ladau interviewed Guerra for its website’s “Arte Público Press Author of the Month” feature, and along with the transcript, their conversation is available to listeners on the station’s interactive site through on-demand audio streaming here.

Click here to see all Arte Público authors featured on Houston Public Media.

About the Author:

JUAN J. GUERRA, a doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Illinois School of Medicine. He was four years old when his family emigrated from El Salvador to Los Angeles, California. As a young boy, like many immigrant children, Juan had to translate for his grandparents. His experiences with his Abuelita Conchita and the US health care system led to his passion for providing quality health care to culturally and linguistically diverse people; they are the basis for this book. Outside of the health care setting, Juan enjoys spending time with his wife Tamy and playing basketball and soccer with their sons, Salvador and Sebastian. The Little Doctor / El doctorcito is his first picture book.

About his first book, The Little Doctor / El doctorcito

Salvador raced home from school to share exciting news with his abuela: he made an A+ on his science test! But at home, he learns that his grandmother needs his help. She is going to the doctor and wants her grandson to interpret for her. Abuela is nervous because she has never been to a doctor in the United States. In El Salvador, she either saw a curandera or drank té de manzanilla when she felt sick.

When he learns that none of the physicians speak Spanish, the boy realizes that he is completely responsible for making sure the doctor understands his grandmother—and that she understands his instructions! But in spite of his help, the visit does not go well. The doctor rushes in and out. He doesn’t listen to Abuela. And he tells Salvador that she should not eat so much Mexican food! Abuela is so upset that she threatens not to take the medication the doctor prescribes! What can Salvador do to help her?

In this engaging bilingual picture book for children ages 4-8, a young Salvadoran boy dreams of becoming a doctor who speaks both English and Spanish so that patients like his beloved grandmother aren’t afraid to visit the doctor. Paired with lively, colorful illustrations by Victoria Castillo, this book will encourage children to think about their own futures as well as the role their culture can play in helping the community.