Carrie Kahn

Carrie Kahn is a correspondent for NPR's National Desk based at NPR West in Culver City, CA. Kahn's reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning news programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

Kahn has frequently worked on assignment for NPR throughout Mexico, California and the West. In 2005, Kahn was part of NPR’s extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, where she investigated claims of euthanasia in New Orleans hospitals, recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast and resettlement of city residents in Houston, TX. She has covered her share of Hurricanes since, fire storms and mudslides in Southern California and the controversial life and death of pop-icon Michael Jackson. Kahn continues to cover immigration and immigrant communities throughout the country, as well as drug trafficking and border enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2008, as China hosted the world’s athletes, Kahn recorded a remembrance of her Jewish grandfather and his decision to compete in Hitler’s 1936 Olympics.

Before coming to NPR in 2004, Kahn worked for 2 1/2 years at NPR station KQED in San Francisco, first as an editor and then as a general assignment reporter with a focus on immigration reporting. From 1994 to 2001, Kahn was the border and community affairs reporter at NPR station KPBS in San Diego, where she covered immigration, cross-border issues and the city's ethnic communities.

While at KPBS, Kahn received numerous awards, including back-to-back Sol Price Awards for Responsible Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. She won the California/Nevada Associated Press award for Best News Feature, eight Golden Mike Awards from the Radio & TV News Association of Southern California and numerous prizes from the San Diego Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists of San Diego. She was also awarded three consecutive La Pluma Awards from the California Chicano News Media Association.

Prior to joining KPBS, Kahn worked for NPR station KUSP and published a bilingual community newspaper in Santa Cruz, CA.

Kahn is frequently called upon to lecture or discuss border issues and bi-national journalism. Her work has been cited for fairness and balance by the Poynter Institute of Media Studies. She was awarded and completed a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism at Johns Hopkins University.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kahn received a Bachelors degree from UC Santa Cruz in Biology. For several years she was a human genetics researcher in California and in Costa Rica. She has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Central America, Europe and the Middle East, where she worked on a English/Hebrew/Arabic magazine.

Carrie lives somewhat close to the beach in Los Angeles and loves to go for runs near the shore with her husband, two girls and their cockapoo Mona.

 

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6:05am

Sat August 16, 2014
Parallels

Navigating Nicaragua: A Lesson In Getting Lost

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 11:56 am

A motorcyclist drives past a mural of revolutionary heroes in Managua, Nicaragua. Most streets in the country don't have names. People give directions by using reference points, mostly Lake Managua, when in the capital.
Carrie Kahn NPR

One of the most popular songs by the Irish band U2 is about a place where the streets have no names. That place could be Nicaragua, the small Central American nation where I just got back from a reporting trip.

While major boulevards and highways do have names in Nicaragua, and some buildings even have numbers, no one uses them. So if you are trying to get around or find an office building, let's say to interview someone, then you're in trouble.

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3:00am

Fri August 15, 2014
Parallels

A Chinese Man, A $50 Billion Plan And A Canal To Reshape Nicaragua

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 8:54 am

A family swims in Lake Nicaragua, which will encompass nearly half of the proposed canal's 172-mile route. Environmentalists worry that oil spills, pollution and dredging will destroy the country's largest supply of fresh water.
Carrie Kahn/NPR

One hundred years ago today, the first ship passed through the brand-new, U.S.-built Panama Canal; a century later, Panama owns the canal outright, and the country is one of the most prosperous in the region.

Panama's neighbor to the north, Nicaragua, is hoping a transoceanic canal and similar prosperity are in its near future. The government has joined forces with a Chinese billionaire to construct a 173-mile, interocean canal.

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3:07am

Thu July 31, 2014
Goats and Soda

As 'Voluntourism' Explodes In Popularity, Who's It Helping Most?

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 2:36 pm

Haley Nordeen, 19, is spending the entire summer at the Prodesenh center in San Mateo Milpas Altas, Guatemala. The American University student helped build the center's new library.
Carrie Kahn NPR

As you plan — or even go — on your summer vacation, think about this: More and more Americans are no longer taking a few weeks off to suntan and sightsee abroad. Instead they're working in orphanages, building schools and teaching English.

It's called volunteer tourism, or "voluntourism," and it's one of the fastest growing trends in travel today. More than 1.6 million volunteer tourists are spending about $2 billion each year.

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3:00am

Mon July 28, 2014
The Salt

Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:23 pm

A worker dries coffee beans at a coffee plantation in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, in February 2013.
Moises Castillo AP

Outside the northern Guatemalan town of Olopa, near the Honduran border, farmer Edwin Fernando Diaz Viera stands in the middle of his tiny coffee field. He says it was his lifelong dream to own a farm here. The area is renowned for producing some of the world's richest arabica, the smooth-tasting beans beloved by specialty coffee brewers.

"My farm was beautiful; it was big," he says.

But then, a plant fungus called coffee rust, or roya in Spanish, hit his crop.

"Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," he says.

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3:19pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Parallels

Deportation Threat Doesn't Diminish Young Migrants' U.S. Hopes

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:23 pm

Ezequiel Vazquez and his 15-year-old son, Ilbaro, leave a government-run shelter in Guatemala City. Ilbaro was deported from the U.S. after spending six months in a Texas detention facility. He returned with a U.S.- issued duffel bag full of clothes, shoes, books and toys.
Carrie Kahn NPR

The Obama administration says it will try to speed up deportations of tens of thousands of children who have illegally entered the U.S. from Central America in recent months. It's part of a stronger message the administration is hoping gets back to would-be migrants contemplating coming to the U.S.

But the message isn't getting through, and even those who have recently been deported say they will try again.

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