¡Feliz viernes a todos!
I hope you all enjoyed the documentary I featured on WWW last week! This week, in keeping with the themes of immigration and resources to honor and understand Latin American cultural influences and experiences, I am featuring an online source that will serve as a good supplement to the documentary, The Dream is Now. The website is called Lost in Immigrationlandia and it highlights the stories of two young men, Alex and Cristhian, who migrated to the United States from Guatemala and Honduras, respectively. Their stories illustrate the many reasons they left their countries in the first place and tell of the obstacles they faced in getting to the United States. Once they arrived, the stories illustrate how the boys were received in the States and taken to holding cells or detention centers nicknamed “The Freezers.” While the documentary last week introduced some of the struggles faced by immigrants who already live in the United States, this site introduces the struggles faced in getting here. The site is important because it gives first-hand accounts of what makes people want to migrate in the first place. It brings the fears and dangers of migration to light and does not shy from sharing the sometimes illegal, frequently frightening details of the process. It would be a powerful read for older students and could even be read in class for discussion. Some important lessons that could be drawn from the reading of these stories are: What are immigration detention center and what purpose do they serve?; how have they appeared and reappeared throughout history in the United States for different migrant populations?; what legalities inform immigration processes in the United States – and how do these differ for immigrants from different countries or backgrounds?; how long does the physical and legal process of immigration tend to last?; and what are the financial obstacles facing immigrants? Talking about these topics in the classroom will help encourage our students to think critically about the messages they receive from the popular newspapers and television sources.
After having seen the film and read the stories on this site, students will have more of an opportunity to connect what they are learning in the classroom to their lives or the lives of others whom they know. Hopefully, students will have a more informed understanding of immigration than what is portrayed by current political candidates and mainstream news outlets. I certainly hope this resource is useful in conjunction with last week’s post or on its own as we work toward including Latin American in classroom discussions! At the very least, it’s a quick, helpful read!
With warmest wishes,
Image: “The Teen’s Guide to Surviving Immigration.” Reprinted from Lost in Immigrationlandia.