Campaign archives for Cuentame Two Latino Children, One Strong Latino Family

By Rick Andreoli at

Since November of last year we have been posting videos from Cuentame’s “An Honest Conversation” video series. The project was created to show the direct, sober, honest and often painful stories of LGBTQ Latino youth, their friends, families and the community in general. From bullying to abuse, struggle to triumph, this series aims to break taboos within the Latino community while changing paradigms within this fast-shifting demographic.

The final video in the series focuses on the Moreno family in Arizona. Gay siblings, Samantha and Guillermo, sit down with their mother and offer up their stories. From Samantha dealing with the fact that her father hasn’t spoken to her partner in nearly 12 years, to Guillermo understanding a balance between his Catholic faith and being gay, the two show how being gay can be a family affair. The Morenos presents a framework that does not hold Latino family culture and queer sexuality mutually exclusive. Challenging yet hopeful, they are an example of how an honest conversation can change the family dynamic for the better.

Watch more “An Honest Conversation” videos
Gay Latinos Break Their Silence
Gay Latinos Speak: Bianca
Gay Latinos Speak: Army Vet Ronnie

Jorge Gutierrez – Gay, Latino & Undocumented

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The Florida Independent: Residents, activists stage Stations of the Cross to oppose immigration detention center

By Marcos Restrepo at The Florida Independent

As part of a permanent campaign to protest a proposed immigration detention center in South Florida, more than 60 residents and immigrant advocates gathered Saturday to stage the Stations of the Cross.

Residents of Pembroke Pines and the town of Southwest Ranches have voiced opposition to the detention center since Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE) first announced it had chosen the Southwest Ranches/Corrections Corporation of America proposal in June 2011.

Jose Machado is a 17-year-old high school student who came to the U.S. at the age of 6 and with the support of an attorney has filed for a visa that would allow him to stay and gradually obtain permanent immigration status. Machado told The Florida Independent Saturday that his mother was deported in 2011 after losing her immigration court case. Machado now lives with a cousin, goes to school and works to help pay bills.

Machado opposes the privately managed immigration detention center because “they’re trying to make money from detaining immigrants,” adding that “it symbolizes separation of family, damaging people psychologically and emotionally.”

Denise Schroder — a resident of Southwest Ranches who, with about six other people, was at the event to show her support for the proposed immigration detention center — told the Independent, “I believe it’s a holding place. I don’t believe it’s a prison, where they treat people bad because they’ve done bad things.”

Schroder said it would be good “if the government came up with something” to help immigrants and create a system that would allow them to “pay their fair share.” She also said “there is a right way and wrong way of doing it and coming here illegally is not the right way to do it.”

“I support this because I know it is going to create more jobs, and the revenue that’s coming from it, I want the money for my town,” Schroder said.

The Florida Carpenters Regional Council also supports the detention center, saying it will get “hundreds of people working and off the unemployment rolls.”

Read the rest here.

Think Progress: Watch Two Gay Siblings Come Out To Their Catholic Latino Family

By Staff at ThinkProgress

The Brave New Foundation’s Cuéntame presents the latest in its collection called “An Honest Conversation,” stories about LGBT Latino youth and their friends, families, and communities. This video features the Morenos, a fervently Catholic Latino family in Arizona in which both brother and sister faced the struggle of coming out as gay to their parents. In the end, they agree that despite its challenges, their coming out strengthened the family’s union, because “this is all we have, the family.”

Watch it:

Current TV’s The Young Turks Feature Immigrants For Sale

Current TV’s “The Young Turks” dives into Cuentame‘s investigative report on CCA and private prisons in America. The video features a whistle-blower from one of those prisons in Florida. The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the largest for-profit prison company in America. They continually put their profits in front of inmate rights AND employee rights.

AOL Latino: Cuéntame sobre… el pedido de ciudadanía (Video)

By AOL Latino staff

Dos veces por semana, por medio de la abogada especializada Galorah Kesharvaz, Cuéntame se encarga de informar a los lectores de AOL Latino sobre los temas básicos de la inmigración a Estados Unidos, mediante breves videos instructivos y explicativos, como un servicio a la comunidad.

Este primer video es sobre cómo solicitar la ciudadanía estadounidense.

A través de vídeos en línea y series documentales, Cuéntame une voces, creando una comunidad de Latinos, para Latinos y el público en general. Cuéntame, como lo dice su nombre, relate historias – personales y directas que crean conciencia, movilizan y muestran la diversidad y la riqueza de la comunidad Latina. Cómo organización, Cuéntame ha abordado diversos temas desde arte y cultura, hasta el rechazo a leyes anti-inmigrantes y la justicia económica y social. Usted puedes conectarse a Cuéntame a través de su portal en internet:, en facebook:, Twitter: y Tumblr:

To read more about this story, go to AOL Latino.

Care2: Honoring Latina Filmmakers For International Women’s Day

By Jessica Pieklo at Care2

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Cuentame produced a video featuring screenwriter Josefina Lopez.

You can watch the video here.

In addition to writing the successful Real Women Have Curves, Lopez also produces the Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza. Cuentame’s Story Producer, Iliana Sosa gave some context for need for the festival and how it fits into International Women’s Day. “I think that BHLIFE is long overdue. Josefina started this because there wasn’t a space in which to celebrate and recognize the important work that Latina filmmakers are accomplishing. Is a Latina filmmaker a rarity? Some would like to think so–but this important festival dispels that myth and celebrates the unique stories and perspectives that Latina filmmakers are crafting on the big screen.”

Kudos to Cuentame and Lopez for bringing attention to the rich contributions of Latina filmmakers and for honoring International Women’s Day.

Film Independent: Screenshot – Cuentame

By staff at Film Independent

Many in filmmaking are driven by more than their passion to create and entertain. They’re driven by a call for social justice. Such is the case with online content, activist, organizing entity Cuéntame. Let’s let them tell us the story of their story.

In 140 characters or less, describe your website.
¡Latino Instigators! Watch our films, make an impact and join in the powerful conversation.

The idea around Cuéntame is pretty multi-faceted. It incorporates activism, film, ground action… how did you come up with that?
We started with a simple concept. How to re-create the Latino dinner table online. How to create a community by Latinos, for Latinos and the public at large – where people would share and interact – through the media and films that we created. We knew that it was through telling the personal and everday stories that would mobilize folks and get people counted. We came up with – Cuéntame which literally translates to – “tell me your story” or “count me in”. We are into our third year, and stronger than ever!

This is an enormous undertaking. What made you so confident that it would even work?

More than a drive by confidence, it was drive by need and a sense of obligation. Not all issues affect all peoples the same – and there was a lot needed to be done in our community. For us it was important to make sure it is the community speaking out for themselves. It is their project – we mobilize around it. The desire for something like Cuéntame is almost self-evident – communities are eager to speak out and platform is something that is congenitally put to good use.

I understand that you’ve been able to make Cuéntame your full time day job. How did you pull that off?

It involved endless sleepless nights, morning shoots, 24/7 working on the side. It involved a whole lot of passion and dedication and even more: Patience! But as soon as you start seeing the impact your making, it only drives you to go further and further. Everyday we face the challenge to make sure to keep up to date with the issues and conversations within and out of the Latino community and we like to do it in a manner that is not only informative, and educational but creative, fun and engaging.

Read more at Film Independent.

ALMA Chicago: Queer, Undocumented, & Unafraid [Video]

By staff at ALMA Chicago

This video is part of a series by Cuentame, called “An Honest Conversation.” In this video they interview Jorge, who speaks about his experience as a queer undocumented immigrant.

POZ: An Honest Conversation

By Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. at POZ Blogs

Cuéntame (Spanish for count me or tell me your story) is a new initiative that seeks to encourage Latinos to tell their stories.

“An Honest Conversation” is their LGBT video series. They include the coming out stories of Latina lesbians and an undocumented gay Latino.

The video of Ronnie, however, holds the most interest for me since I can relate to so much of his story.

He was bullied in the Army for being gay. Mercifully, I did not have that experience in the Marine Corps.

We do, however, share an understanding of the challenges in coming out about being gay and having HIV to our Latino family and friends.

Kudos to Ronnie for overcoming so many hurdles, including HIV. I wish him well.

Huffington Post: Arturo De Los Santos Continues To Resist Freddie Mac-Led Eviction From Re-Occupied Home

By Gabriel Lerner at the Huffington Post

Almost a week after they were scheduled to be evicted forcibly from their home, the De Los Santos family is still living in the Riverside house they bought in 2002 — and then re-occupied last December — surrounded by a small group of sympathizers from groups like Occupy LA and Occupy Riverside.

The family is requesting that government-owned corporation Freddie Mac renegotiate their mortgage, which they feel was foreclosed upon prematurely, and allow them to pay their debt. “I have the money to pay,” said De Los Santos to The Huffington Post. But according to Freddie Mac, there is no mortgage or loan to be modified.

“This mortgage was foreclosed upon in mid-November 2010, and it was finished at that point,” stated Brad German, Freddie Mac’s senior director for public relations, speaking to The Huffington Post. “The mortgage was foreclosed upon. It is not in hibernation, it’s a done deal. This mortgage was extinguished,” said German, adding, “Pretty much this has turned into a PR stunt.”

End of story? Not likely.

Last December when Arturo and Magdalena De Los Santos and their four children reoccupied the foreclosed home, from which they had been evicted six months earlier, they say they did it to force Freddie Mac to come to a settlement that will enable them to return home legally.

Arturo is a fourth-generation Mexican-American from Texas and a former Marine; Magdalena is an immigrant from Acapulco, Mexico. Arturo has worked for the same company for 21 years as a supervisor. “I make good money,” he said. Ten years after purchasing their dream house, this middle-class family finds itself in limbo, fighting to remain in the home where they raised their four children: Brandon, 12; Sasha, 10; Kevin, 8; and Millie, 7.

Today, the De Los Santos family is part of a group of activists led by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), an organization that confronts Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae over their roles in the foreclosure crisis. The De Los Santos family story was reported by The Huffington Post last Tuesday, when a five-day notice to vacate their home, issued by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, expired. Since then, they and their supporters have been waiting for the expected forcible evacuation.

“We wanted to express our support in a nonviolent way,” Peter Kuhns, an organizer with ACCE, told The Huffington Post. “We want to be present at the moment it happens.”

They were not the only ones waiting — Freddie Mac is waiting as well. On Friday, Freddie Mac sought a court order asking the Riverside Sheriff to enforce the eviction order.

“The company has apparently decided to have the family removed at all costs,” said Kuhns.

De Los Santos insists on his offer to pay what he owes, to resume making mortgage payments and be allowed to remain legally in the home. “I make enough money,” he stated repeatedly.

And this may have been his problem.

Read the rest of Arturo’s story at Huffington Post.

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