This Friday, October 5th at 6:30pm, the San Geronimo Valley Community Center and Canal Welcome Center are screening the locally-produced (out of Novato, including San Rafael and other filmmakers) documentary “Porque Venimos/Why We Come”. The film asks local undocumented immigrants why they came to California. It is a rare opportunity to get into someone’s shoes and ask yourself what you would do in their situation – and to reflect on why you or your family chose to come to this area.
In my work with the San Geronimo Valley Community Center Revivir La Cultura, a Mexican Arts Program, I have had the opportunity to meet many Latinos in West Marin. As with any community there are the respected elders who have been in the community for nearly half a century. As a Boston-born and raised woman of Eastern European Jewish descent who made a complicated decision to leave my home and family and move to the Bay Area in the year 2000, this film is an opportunity to reflect on why I, and so many of us transplants, come to the California. I am struck by how far I am from my original home and how even much further I am from my ancestral home(s) in contrast to how some of our Latino neighbors are arguably in their ancestral home (given that California was once part of Mexico) and are much closer to where they grew up.
Why did I come? Like many immigrants I came for fresh opportunities and to join someone I loved, my wife, Emily Bender. I was fortunate to be moving from and to a stable political, social and economic climate where all my basic needs were met. The people portrayed by the film Porque Venimos/Why We Come were not so lucky. The film and hearing stories from people I have met through my work has really opened my eyes to how profoundly they needed to immigrate.
With the political controversy that usually accompanies this subject, it is very unusual to see the true stories of real people who immigrated to this area. We hope many people will take advantage of this rare opportunity to consider the conditions that draw our friends and neighbors to risk so much to live and work here by attending the film screening.
Friday, October 5th 6:30pm
San Geronimo Valley Community Center and Canal Welcome Center present
Why We Come (Por Que Venimos) 45 min. (2011)
By Marin Immigrant Rights Coalition whywecome.org . Why We Come is a deeply affecting film about why people leave Mexico and Central America to come to the United States, what happens on the journey, and how they cope with life here. Followed by a panel discussion featuring filmmakers from the Marin Immigrant Rights Coalition and others. Your questions and comments are welcome. Bilingual program. At San Geronimo Valley Community Center. Free, donations welcome.
Delicious, affordable and authentic Mexican food will be for sale to raise funds for the Revivir la Cultura program – come have dinner!
Local kids in the SGVCC Revivir la Cultura Dancers will perform a dance and there will be a short slide show about the program.
We enthusiastically encourage people from the school community to come to promote greater understanding of our neighbors and to dovetail with curriculum about immigration.
Questions? Please call Nicole Ramirez at 415-306-1616 or Hannah Doress at 415-488-8888 and press # and 253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Presented by the SGVCC Revivir la Cultura Project, with the support of: Marin Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation & Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center.