“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

Skip to content

“Telling the Stories of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community”

VIEWS: 1919

September 21, 2023

Meet OAN Reporter Juan Ysaguirre and Intern Nalani Lopez


Juan Ysaguirre

Hello! My name is Juan Cota Ysaguirre and I have recently begun my employment with O’odham Action News (OAN) for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. My parents are Juan Nieto and Terri Ysaguirre. As some of you may know, my father works as the Operations Manager in the Community Development Department.

I am an enrolled member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. I’m learning my language as well. I can speak Yaqui minimally so far; however, I do know the phrase Lios Enchim Aniabu, which translates to “Creator protect us all.”

Our main Pascua Yaqui reservation is located in Tucson. I live in Tempe with my wife and our two dogs. This past May, my wife and I purchased our very first home after many years of saving. We have been enjoying furnishing and decorating our home so far. Every Thursday you can find us having dinner with my parents at our favorite restaurant, Casa Reynoso, at Mill Avenue and Southern in Tempe.

Before the pandemic, I was a photojournalist for the Ak-Chin Indian Community. While at the Ak-Chin O’odham Runner, I was fortunate enough to cover community events in and around Arizona as well as the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship game between Gonzaga and North Carolina. The following year, I was on the football field taking photos during the NCAA Men’s College Football Championship game between Alabama and Clemson.

A memorable article I wrote while at Ak-Chin was when the Maricopa High School girls varsity basketball team won the school’s first and only state championship. I covered each home game, traveled to all their playoff games and was on the court when the Lady Rams upset Seton Catholic to win it all.

I love writing, photography, filmmaking, the Phoenix Suns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m also rediscovering my love of baseball after not following it much in the 2010s. Ken Griffey Jr. was and still is my favorite baseball player. I also love movies. If you can quote Ghostbusters, you’re already my new favorite friend.

As OAN’s newest news specialist, I look forward to covering events for the Community and am supremely appreciative of the opportunity to do so. I have loved writing ever since I wrote my first movie screenplay in 1997, and I will always put my best efforts towards making my stories informative and enjoyable for all editions of O’odham Action News.

Thank you, and I will most definitely see you around the Community.

Nalani Lopez

Hello! My name is Nalani Lopez. I am an enrolled member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, born and raised here in the Community. This semester, I will be spending my time at the O’odham Action News as an intern. I am currently in my second year at Scottsdale Community College and plan to continue my education at Arizona State University.

As of now, I am undecided in my major; however, I am exploring potential career paths, and hope I can find a place in journalism. I have grown up reading the paper and am excited to learn about the ins and outs of producing it. I look forward to this opportunity to document the Community I live in, learn about O’odham culture, and meet new people as I go. If you have not met me, feel free to say hello if you see me around!

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, roller skating, traveling, and collecting vintage clothing and magazines. I hope to travel abroad in the summer—as soon as I get my passport!

My parents are Rito and Christy Lopez. I have an older sister, Sommer, and two younger brothers, RJ and Tizoc. My paternal grandparents are the late Ramon and Rosa Lopez. My maternal grandparents are Ken and Doreen Duncan. I also have two four-year-old cats, Beans and Mushu.