2015 Documentaries


David Colón López

I am a graduating Senior and Latin American Studies Major. My passion for Latin America is broad, but as an island raised Puerto Rican, my main focus is the Caribbean. Due to my own family connections to the state of Oregon, I took the Latino Roots course with the goal of learning more about Latino history at large in the state. Apart from gaining access to a broad spectrum of historic and contemporary knowledge regarding the state of Oregon and its long and tangled history with both Latino and Native American communities, the most valuable set of skills I attained from the class were those having to do with successfully creating a multifaceted documentary from scratch. It has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for my academic and social goals.

View David’s film: “Pancho un Boricua en Oregon”

Elizabeth Johnson

I am an anthropology major with the focus of archeology. My interest is archeological work within Central and South America.  I took the class to learn about cultural anthropology and keep learning about histories of Latino cultures. At the same time, I have been able to practice the Spanish language and keep it fresh in my vocabulary. Over the course of the two terms of this class, I have learned a lot about how much an experience in ones life can shape the way they choose to tell a story.

View Elizabeth’s film: “Edgar Ortega: United States Marine”

Nicole Johnson

“Through the Latino Roots course, I have applied and strengthened my oral history interview skills; I have learned the basics of documentary filmmaking; and have gained a broader perspective of the history of Latinos in Oregon and the United States. This class enabled me to combine my understanding of Latinos in Oregon with the personal story of an Oregonian in order to underscore the weaving of cultures that occurs when a person assimilates into a new place.”
–Nicole Johnson, Latino Roots class, 2015–

“Durante el curso de Latino Roots/Raíces Latinas, he aplicado y fortalecido mis habilidades de hacer entrevistas de historia oral; he aprendido los fundamentos del cine documental; y he ganado una perspectiva más amplia de la historia de los Latinos en Oregón y los Estados Unidos. Esta clase me permitió combinar las historias de Latinos con la historia de Oregón para entender como las culturas están entrelazadas y que ocurre cuando una persona se asimila a un nuevo lugar. ” –Nicole Johnson, Latino Roots clase 2015–

View Nicole’s film: “Combinando Culturas/Bridging Cultures”

Erica Ledesma

“I was inspired to take the Latino Roots class because I wanted to learn about the history of Latinos in Oregon, which is part of my history as a daughter of Mexican parents. Through this course I learned how to produce a documentary, but more importantly, I was able to document a person’s story of migrating to Oregon, and understand that Latino roots are Oregon roots.” –Erica Ledesma, Latino Roots class 2015–

“Lo que me inspiró a tomar la clase de Latino Roots/Raíces Latinas es que quería aprender sobre la historia de los Latinos en Oregón la cual es parte de mi historia como hija de padres Mexicanos. A través del curso aprendí a producir un documental, pero lo más importante ha sido el poder documentar la historia de una persona que migró a Oregón y entender que las raíces Latinas son raíces de Oregón. ” Erica Ledesma, Latino Roots clase 2015–

View Erica’s film: “Being Maya Quiché”

Tamara Leroy

“I took this course as a way to expand my skillset to better share the beautiful and complicated stories of all people. With this documentary I hope to broaden our collective understanding of what being an American means. This class has provided me with a deep understanding of the importance of the act of sharing one’s life story.” –Tamara Leroy, Latino Roots class 2015–

“Tomé este curso para ampliar mis habilidades de compartir hermosas y complicadas historias personales. Con este documental espero ampliar la comprensión colectiva de lo que significa ser Americano. Esta clase me ha enseñado la importancia del acto de compartir nuestras historias.”
–Tamara Leroy, Latino Roots class 2015–

View Tamara’s Film: “Finding Home: From California to Oregon”

Shelby Lopez

“I decided to take this class to help me understand my own experiences as a Latina in Oregon, which has meant feeling like an outsider. The course has made me realize that I am not alone as a minority. Through the class I have become connected with people that have made me realize there are more people that feel just like I do.” –Shelby Lopez, Latino Roots class 2015–

“Decidí tomar esta clase para entender mis propias experiencias como Latina en Oregón, y lo que significa sentirse como foránea. El curso me ha hecho ver que no estoy sola como una minoría. A través de la clase me he conectado con personas que sienten igual de como me siento yo.”
–Shelby Lopez, Latino Roots class 2015–

View Shelby’s Film: “Identity through Connection”

Adimary Matias-Hernandez

“I took this class because even though I grew up speaking Spanish, I felt my knowledge of Latino culture was lacking. The most important thing I have learned is that everyone has a story to tell and it’s important to document and archive these stories as part of history for future generations. We don’t want these amazing histories to be forgotten.” — Adimary Matias-Hernandez, Latino Roots class 2015–

“Tomé la clase porque a pesar de que crecí hablando español, sentí que me faltaba más conocimiento de la cultura Latina. Lo más importante que he aprendido es que todo el mundo tiene una historia que contar y es importante documentar y archivar estas historias para las generaciones futuras. No queremos que estas increíbles historias sean olvidadas.” — Adimary Matias-Hernandez, Latino Roots clase 2015–

View Adimary’s film: “Los Oaxaqueños de la Sierra Norte”

Celeste Medina

My name is Celeste Medina. I am a Journalism and Cinema Studies major focusing on producing movies and telling stories. I took the Latino Roots class to gain a better understanding of my people’s history. I wanted to learn about the impact Latinos have had in our country and how things have progressed over time for minorities.

View Celeste’s film: “Embracing the Dream”

Lucy Murdoch

I am a junior majoring in Anthropology. I enrolled in this course because I was looking for a way to incorporate my interest in the Spanish language into my major. Not only has the Latino Roots I and II sequence involved these interests, but it has also provided me with practical skills that are useful in the field of anthropology. I was also interested in enrolling in this course because it served as a unique opportunity to research and help document the stories of Latinos in Oregon. Having completed the Latino Roots sequence, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to learn everything from Oregon history to the interviewing process to editing a film that can be used to improve cultural awareness and education in Oregon.

View Lucy’s film: “Tu Sueño Realidad: Opening Doors for Latino Children”

Lexus Oswald

I am an undergraduate majoring in Journalism and minoring in Cultural Anthropology. I aspire to work with documentary in the future in order to tell stories through oral history. I am passionate about traveling and being immersed in other cultures. I took Latino Roots I & II because I have always wanted to know more about Latino’s histories in order to feel more connected to my own descent. Throughout this course I strengthened my interviewing, recording video and audio, and editing skills. Most of all this class was humbling and impactful towards my own personal growth through teaching me the realities of immigration.

Keaton Rogers

I am an International Studies major with a geography focus and an interest in Latin America. I took this class to push myself academically and to delve deeper into understanding the racial history of Oregon. I have learned a great deal in regards to film- making and I have gained a deeper sense of appreciation for oral history projects.

View Keaton’s film: “The Story of Carlos Enrique Marquez”

Haydee Romero

“I decided to take the class because it was important for me as a Latina. What I most learned and appreciated from the class, was hearing about experiences of my classmates as they recorded the stories of others. It’s been a long journey, but I think we’ve all become better individuals from this experience.” — Haydee Romero, Latino Roots class 2015–

“Decidí tomar la clase porque era importante para mí como Latina. Lo que más aprendí y aprecié de la clase fue escuchar acerca de las experiencias de mis compañeros mientras grababan las historias de otros. Ha sido un largo viaje, pero creo que todos nos hemos convertido en mejores individuos a través de esta experiencia.” — Haydee Romero, Latino Roots clase 2015–

View Haydee’s film: “The Journey of Life is to Give

Eli Ruth-Cheff

“I was intrigued by the class and its potential for fostering substantive discussion about Latinos in Oregon. Aside from the many technical skills, I learned the importance of accountability for what we do. Neyo (the subject of my film) entrusted me with his life story, and I felt a profound sense of responsibility for doing it justice. Neyo’s story reflects his unfaltering dedication to his family, community and beliefs.” — Eli Ruth-Cheff, Latino Roots class 2015–

“Me interesó la clase por su potencial para fomentar un debate profundo sobre los Latinos en Oregón. Aparte de las muchas habilidades técnicas, aprendí la importancia de ser responsable por lo que hacemos. Neyo (el protagonista del documental) me confió su historia de vida, y sentí una profunda responsabilidad por contarla de manera justa. La historia de Neyo refleja su inquebrantable dedicación a su familia, comunidad y creencias.” — Eli Ruth-Cheff, Latino Roots clase 2015–

View Eli’s film: “El Lugar y el Dolor”

Troy Shinn

I am student in the School of Journalism and Communication. I enrolled in Latino Roots I and II course so that I could finish this video project I had already started on my grandparents. The course provided me with many new ideas and perspectives that are reflected in my final documentary. Moreover, it taught me how to address concepts of culture and race in constructive ways that are mindful of existing stereotypes and cultural assumptions.

View Troy’s film: “Across the Border”

Chelsie Simonson

My name is Chelsie Simonson and I am a Senior, majoring in Anthropology. I have a strong interest in Latino socio-political issues within the United States, as well as in Latin America. I have a background in photography and enjoy documenting stories through imagery. I was excited to take the Latino Roots courses because they offered a bridge between my interests in Anthropology and photo/video technology.

View Chelsie’s film: “A Journey to Survival”

Nina Sobotka

“My curiosity and desire for being pushed out of my comfort zone led me to register for the Latino Roots course. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study the racial and ethnic history of Oregon, and experience the production of a documentary film. Through the process of production, I became aware of my own identity as a white woman and why it is important to cultivate my awareness toward people of color.” — Nina Sobotka, Latino Roots class 2015–

“Mi curiosidad y deseo de empujarme fuera de mi zona de confort me llevó a inscribirme en el curso de Latinos Roots/Raíces Latinas. Estoy agradecida de haber estudiado la historia racial y étnica de Oregón, y de experimentar con la producción de una película documental. A través del proceso de producción, me di cuenta de mi propia identidad como mujer blanca y por qué es importante cultivar mi conciencia hacia las personas de color.” — Nina Sobotka, Latino Roots clase 2015–

View Nina’s film: “Carmen Urbina: My Journey to Activism”

Richard Velazquez

I am a masters student in History with a regional interest in Latin America, specifically in Mexico. I took this class to develop new skills and to broaden what I can produce with my academic research. By creating a documentary, I am able to make my research more accessible to larger groups of people.

View Richard’s film: “Buscando Oportunidades: My Journey to Oregon”