The Urban Indigenous

The Urban Indigenous

Cultures and languages are lost as residents of the Amazon Basin move to cities looking for jobs.
The Amazon is the largest and oldest tropical forest in the world. Today 70 percent of the Amazon’s human population lives in cities. Many of them are indigenous and accustomed to living off the land, but they move to the cities to improve their lives.

This story is set in Leticia, Columbia, a city located near the point where Colombia, Brazil and Peru intersect. The story follows the Hernandez family who moved to Leticia looking for jobs four years ago. They now live in a slum along the border of Brazil and are barely able to make enough money to feed their children.

Gaspar Hernandez hoped life would be better for him, his wife, his mother and four children in the city. Their children are able to go to school but the family doesn’t have enough money to pay for uniforms or notebooks. They aren’t able to speak their native language in the melting pot of the city and many fear Indigenous languages and cultures are gradually being lost.

This video by independent filmmaker Alba Mora Roca includes interviews with the Hernandez family, a Leticia Housing Officer and teacher. The interviews are in Spanish with subtitles. The use of music and a wide variety of images from aerials to shots of the family in their shack in the slum provide a rich sense of this remote South American community.

Alba Mora Roca is currently a student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She interned at MediaStorm in the summer of 2009 and was associate producer for MediaStorm’s award-winning multimedia package ‘Times of Crisis.’

Length: 8:18

Produced and Directed by Alba Mora Roca
Cinematography: Alba Mora Roca
Sound and Interviews: Carlos Davalos
Editing: Alba Mora Roca