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Anew 30 minute documentary that highlights how local Latinos have positively impacted the Boston community will be released just in time to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15th to October 15th.

1_Boston Latino Project Junot Diaz

“The idea is for The Boston Latino Heritage Project to serve as a tool for Boston Public Schools to inspire future generations to view their own possibilities for leadership,” explains Executive Producer Eva Gerena Rivara, who has embarked on this project with her sister Digna Gerena.

“We have selected fifteen Latinos from diverse backgrounds and occupations and have asked them to tell a little bit about their story, challenges and achievements”, adds Eva.

It all began when Eva, an ESL elementary school teacher in the Boston Public Schools, sought out to create an adequate tool to help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month for her elementary social studies class. The idea then expanded to a 30-minute documentary that would be also available to schools in the BPS system through their principals. She enlisted the help of community leaders, public officials and friends to produce the film.

After asking and receiving the needed resources from key supporters the project got underway this summer and has now become a reality.

Given that 40% of the Boston Public School System’s student population is Hispanic, the bilingual piece will, undoubtedly, hit home with its target audience.

Through Kickstarter, individual donations, and backing from organizations such as State Street Corp’s Latin American Professional Group, Boston Scientific and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the four month project was completed on time.

The unveiling reception of the Boston Latino Heritage Project will be hosted in collaboration with Verizon and the Verizon Hispanic Support Organization.

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:: Latinos featured in the documentary: (in alphabetical order)

  • Alex Alvear, Professional Musician/Performance and Production Manager for I.B.A.
  • Felix G. Arroyo, Chief of Health and Human Services, City of Boston
  • Dr. Joseph Betancourt, Physician and Program Director of Multicultural Education at MGH
  • Sonia Chang Diaz, Massachusetts Senator for the 2nd Suffolk District
  • Keylin Chicas, Miss Salvadorian/College Student
  • Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning Author and MIT professor
  • Tim Estiloz, Cartoonist/Actor/Film Critic
  • Yvonne Garcia, Sr. Vice President, Investment Manager Services at State Street Corporation
  • Isabel Lopez, Fashion Designer, Entrepreneur/Editor in Chief of Original Living Magazine
  • Angelica Ochoa Lopez, Athlete/Zumba Instructor
  • Amanda Martinez, Global I.S. Contracts and Vendor Manager at Boston Scientific
  • Nivia Piña Medina, Boston Public School Teacher, Restaurant Owner
  • Jonathan Rodriguez, Captain Boston Fire Department
  • Sara Suarez, Anchor and News Director, Noticias Univision Nueva Inglaterra
  • Alberto Vasallo III, CEO, El Mundo Newspaper/ WHDH Producer

Additional Participation:

  • Mayor Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston
  • Dr. Eileen de los Reyes, Deputy Superintendent of Academics at the Boston Public Schools

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