PBS The Latino Experience: Mi Fango, Mi Cerro [Episode 3]

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This documentary follows a Puerto Rican artist, Chemi, on his artistic journey to reconstruct the appearance of his childhood neighborhood, El Cerro.

I love the overall message of this film, which is the significance of community maintenance and restoration. By painting the houses green, Chemi gave the people of El Cerro the means to express themselves with the various shades of green designed to match their political preferences. Chemi desires El Cerro’s people to be proud of their resilience and channel that pride into artistic expression.

According to Chemi, over the course of his career, he has had many opportunities to travel. He says it would have been easy to leave El Cerro and live another life elsewhere, but Chemi believes change can only happen when you get your hands dirty.

Towards the end of the film, Chemi reveals that success is not about abandoning your culture or conforming to another culture; it is about embracing who you are and where you come from.