“Pancho: Un Boricua en Oregon” is the story of Francisco López, a dedicated family man living in Oregon for close to 25 years. Francisco (commonly referred to as Pancho) was born and raised in the Caribbean, on the island of Puerto Rico. The film seeks to draw attention to a different yet equally important aspect of immigration in the U.S.: Puerto Rican identity and perspective. What drove Pancho to move all the way to Oregon is a story of love, learning, and family. This is not a story of peril and injustice, but merely a look into what crosses the mind of the individual Puerto Rican when confronted with the duality of their identity, and what it gives and takes.
Yadira Janet Mendoza tells her story of growing up in Chiapas, Mexico as a child migrant worker. Having come from a family of farm workers who moved from one temporary job to another, Janet was only able to attend school for two hours after an eight hour day of working out in the fields. As she grew older, little opportunity existed for her with only having a third grade education level. At the age of 18, Janet moved to Albany, Oregon in pursuit of a new life. This transition led to new job opportunities cleaning houses and to meeting her husband, Oscar. Her reputation as a great cleaner grew quickly and she started her own business, MOJY, which she named after the initials of her family members. Now having three employees, Janet's dream is to return to school to study finance or administration and learn English. Her life shows of her hard dedication to survive and support her family.
Blanca's story begins with her life in regards to her mother and the importance of family. She moves a few times and talks of the disconnect from her family and community. Blanca discussed the advantage of English, providing a much smoother path for her to become Valedictorian and make her way to college. We discuss the cultural implications of identifying as Latino, and how this has affected her growing up as an intelligent student, a member of her community, and her identity as it is intertwined with her mother.