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LATIN AMERICA SPOTLIGHT

Casi como una obra viva de realismo mágico, donde extraordinarias posibilidades chocan con una realidad limitante y dura, Latinoamérica es tierra de enormes contrastes y contradicciones sociales, culturales y económicas. En tiempos de cambio donde la transformación ya no es una opción, es necesario mirar nuestras propias contradicciones de frente, reconocer que nuestras fortalezas y debilidades son dos caras de una misma moneda. En un breve viaje por la región, esta selección de historias invita a los estudiantes a conocer de cerca historias de resiliencia, lucha y esperanza, donde la honestidad es el personaje principal. 


Almost like a work in progress novel of magic realism, where extraordinary possibilities set against the backdrop of the real world, Latin America is signed by huge social, cultural and economic contradictions. In times where change is mandatory, we need to look at our own contradictions into the face and recognize that our strengths and vulnerabilities are two sides of the same coin. The Latin America Spotlight invites students to take a journey through the region to connect with stories of resilience, struggle and hope, where authenticity is always the main character. 

 

Access all of the following films and lesson plan by subscribing to SIMA Classroom. 

SUGGESTED FILMS

La Casita Rosa

La Casita Rosa is a short documentary based on the humanitarian efforts of Las Patronas, a group of Mexican women determined to help feed the countless immigrants riding on top of cargo trains heading to the U.S.

Director: Elvin Herrera
Producers: Elvin Herrera

12 min
Mexico
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

Immigration Playlist - SIMA Classroom Through The Wall

Through The Wall

A documentary short about a family divided by the US/Mexico border. Abril is living undocumented in the United States with her 2 year-old son Julian. Julian’s father was stopped by police for a minor traffic incident and was deported back to Mexico. In order to see each other, Uriel, Abril and Julian must cross difficult terrain to reach the border fence where they spend time together through the wall.

Directors: Tim Nackashi
Producers: Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, Tim Nackashi

6 min
United States | Mexico
Languages: English, Spanish

Green Gold? 

“As the global demand for the super food avocados has soared, Chile has become the world’s third largest exporter of avocados. But the community of Petorca, in northern Chile say drought and the insatiable appetite for avocados has brought desperate water shortages.
This film explores the quiet water war in Petorca. Allegations of water theft are rife as members of Petorca community say that big producers are taking more than their allocated water rights allow and that by exporting their avocados, their water is being exported.
The government say it is bringing an end to illegal wells but the situation in Petorca poses an uncomfortable global moral dilemma.”

Director: Nicky Milne
Producers: Nicky Milne, Valeria Cardi

25 min
Chile
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

A Turn For The Better 

“Food is so fundamental to make a population a lot stronger and healthier. It is an axis that should not be neglected.”

In Bolivia, people eat poorly and more of the same. Local old grains as canuhua are about to be forgotten. Three women take a turn for the better…

This video was commissioned by Hivos and IIED for their programme “Sustainable Diets for All”. BRANDOUTLOUD travelled and worked in Bolivia. Portraying various Bolivians about why food diversity counts. These are their stories.

Director: Judith Madigan and Mark van Luyk // BRANDOUTLOUD
Producers:

8 min
Bolivia
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom VOICES FROM THE SEA

Voices from the Sea

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there’s an island whose inhabitants subsistence depends on the sea. There has been an alarming decline of endemic species in their waters because of overfishing by international factory ships, as well as damaging plastic these same ships discard on their shores. This has led the Rapa Nui people to organize themselves. With an original soundtrack made by Ana Tijoux and narrated by Sylvia Earle, “Voices from the Sea” tells the story about the battle of a remote society to save the sea, and this action becomes an example of courage for the planet.

Director: Álvaro Farías
Producer: Amaro Gómez-Pablos

36 min
Chile
Languages: Spanish, Rapa Nui, English
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom Out of Plastic

Out Of Plastic

“Out of Plastic” is a documentary film that sets out to explore the obscure depths of plastics in the Mediterranean. The film is set in the Balearic Islands, and offers viewers a moment to reflect on the profound presence of plastic in our lives and in our natural environment. The film also offers sweeping landscapes and mystic ocean depths – the point-of-encounter between man and nature – and intends to demonstrate how our over consumption of single-use plastic has tipped the scales, to the detriment of nature, and ultimately ourselves.

Directors: Line Hadsbjerg
Producer: Line Hadsbjerg

19 min
Balearic Islands, Spain
Languages: Spanish, Catalan, English
Subtitles: English

Second Cycles 

Bicimaximo is a social enterprise with a heart of a non-profit organization. With a passion for bicycles, Baker Nicholaou – the director and co-founder of Bicicmaximo – traveled from the United States to Nicaragua to open up a business in hopes of providing better quality bikes while training locals as bike mechanics in order to provide sustainable jobs for people in need. This documentary film takes a look at what is the ultimate goal of this social enterprise and how it could significantly impact the residents of Granada. Explore the potential impact this program could have through one man’s personal journey, a man who understands what it takes to rebuild one’s life. “Second Cycles” gives us a glimpse into what a second chance can mean to a person in need.

Directors: Gwendolyn Hamilton

9 min
Latin America
Nicaragua
Language: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish

SIMA Classroom Quipu

Quipu Calls for Justice

Esperanza and Teodula are calling for justice in rural Peru, they are part of 300,000 people sterilised without consent more than 18 years ago. The Quipu Project is their phone line that allows the affected across the country to share their shocking testimonies and ensure those responsible are punished.

Directors: Maria Ignacia Court & Rosemarie Lerner
Producers: Sandra Tabares-Duque, Rosemarie

21 min
Peru
Languages: Spanish, Quechua
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom Juanita

Juanita

A glimpse into the everyday life of Juanita, a Mayan traditional doctor, midwife, nurse and activist. Leader of “The Awakening of the Women who Heal,” an organization of midwives in the Orient of Yucatan, Mexico. Juanita has dedicated her life to helping others with her gift for healing. The film follows Juanita as she redefines the meaning of ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ medicine practices.

Director: Ximena Amescua Cuenca

23 min
Mexico
Languages: Spanish and Mayan
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom Barrio De Paz

Barrio De Paz

In the barrios of Guayaquil, Ecuador an amazing transformation is taking place. Through the efforts of one woman, rival gangs have formed truces, turned in their weapons and have started working together to rebuild the community

Director: Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee

17 min
Ecuador
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish

SIMA Classroom Familia Ayara

Familia Ayara

Don Popo’s life changes when he discovers hip-hop at the age of eleven. From that very moment, hip-hop became the tool that allowed him to dream of a more just and beautiful world: one that is full of wonderful possibilities. Through his Foundation, Familia Ayara, he tries to revive that same experience in as many kids as possible, always using hip-hop as a tool for positive action.

Director: Gonzalo Escuder & Ignacio Gomez
Producer: Gonzalo Escuder & Ignacio Gomez

19 min
Columbia
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English

At Home, In Bed and In The Streets

From a small country with a revolutionary history, comes a compelling TV drama with a big vision. This documentary follows an inspiring Nicaraguan women’s rights group, Puntos de Encuentro, as it works to end sexual violence at home, in bed, and in the streets through a powerful blend of mainstream media and grassroots organizing.

Director: Liz Miller
Producer: Liz Miller

36 min
Canada | Nicaragua
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English

SUGGESTED LESSON PLAN: The Virtual Exchange

Students engage in collaborative activities that enhance their educational and cross-cultural experience in real-time.

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