Meet Juan Cuba, Media Maker at "Abriendo las Cajas"
Juan Cuba, who teaches people how to use media to tell stories, talks about the need to be strong, media sterotypes, and his sense of belonging.
1. If you are an immigrant, tell us what it means to be an immigrant in the United States. If you are not an immigrant, tell us how the immigrant issue touches you on personal level.
To be an immigrant means to me to be someone that have to confront difficult situations, base in the experience of being different, to have to overcome indifference, misconceptions, ignorance and sometimes even hate. In the other hand I think here (USA) is a place where people can develop skills and strategies that will help them to realized their dreams, and become who they want to be.
2. For better or for worse how can or how does media (TV, movies, radio, news stories) make a difference in immigrants’ lives?
For better - I think media can inform and help Immigrants not only to assimilate better to a system that is strange to them but also to educate them and to create a way of critical thinking about their role in this society.
For worse - I think media spend so much time reinforcing stereotypes about the immigrant experience, and I think, mislead Immigrants to believe false values that eventually will weaken their own.
3. Tell us about an interesting or wise practice from another culture that you wish people in the United States would adopt.
In Oaxaca people from the villages send the young boys to spend couple days outside their village to have a rite of passage among other elders and themselves. When they come back to the village they usually come riding horses or donkeys, the ones’ who come back riding backward the animal is because they identify themselves as not heterosexual and then the village embrace them and accept them as they are.
4. How could immigrant health and well being be improved in your city or in the United States?
Investing more resources, asking to people about their necessities, creating culturally appropriate programs for immigrants, recognizing the particularities and of each group of people, helping to create an structure that will attend people regardless their migratory status.
5. Tell us something about your background that led you to become the person you are today. What is your greatest motivation/motivator?
My sense of family, the importance to have a center, to belong a group of people, to have a system of support.
Watch and Listen
New Research & Recommendations
This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.