At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Harvest of Empire reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.
The film focuses on seven countries located in the Latin American regions closest to the U.S. We see the true origins of massive migrations from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Nicaragua. We also meet a group of unforgettable Americans — WWII and Korean War veteran Gonzalo Garza, migrant farm worker-turned neurosurgeon Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, torture survivor María Guardado, singer Luis Enrique, as well as mother/daughter Mariana Cabrera and Mariana Zamboni, whose immigrant story symbolizes the daily contributions Latinos make to the U.S. As Juan González says at the beginning of the film “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.”
A discussion led by Patricia Santoro-Marin follows screening. Patrica Santoyo-Marin earned her self-created Bachelor’s degree in Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her graduate work in Higher Education Leadership and Administration at Northeastern Illinois University led her to present at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Patricia has also collaborated with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.