Horizonte host Jose Cardenas stepping down, reflects on his career
After 20 years, Jose Cardenas announced that he will be stepping back as host of Horizonte. remaining with the show as a consultant. Award-winning journalist Catherine Anaya will take his place.
Cardenas started Horizonte in 2003 with no on-air experience at the time. He initially auditioned for the pilot.
“I was nervous, and I was terrible,” he said.
The first show featured two guests: Jennifer Napolitano, then-governor of Arizona, and Jeff Trent, from the Translational Genomics Research Institute.
“That first show, I was, as you indicated, rather nervous, I mumbled and stumbled my way through the name of my former law partner…” Cardenas said.
Despite growing pains, Cardenas considers that first show to be among the many highlights of his time at Horizonte. Another favorite guest of his was Edward James Olmos.
“Olmos is an actor, turns out he was also a baseball star when he was a teenager. Played on a Dodgers fun club for a little bit. And he was in a rock band. Who would have known that? But we had a chance to get that out.”
Cardenas emphasized the impact the show had with guests whose names were not as big.
“I remember one dance instructor with young people and she was so energetic, moving around, that I’m moving around while I’m on set. So it was a lot of fun. You met a lot of interesting people who, really were contributors to our community.”
A big part of the show for Cardenas was its potential to help dispel Latino and Latina stereotypes. Cardenas recalled having a world-class cancer specialist on the show who was from Mexico City before going to schools in the United States.
“Having people like that, and we didn’t necessarily focus on their being Latinos, we just talked about all their accomplishments, and I think we left a different image of Latinos out in the community, especially at times when there have been issues like SB 1070 that would drive us apart. We showed a kind of, in many respects, a different image of Latinos that I think helped heal some of the divisions.”