The Latino Outreach Council of San Luis Obispo was awarded a $30,000 grant by the California Council for the Humanities to
support a photography project titled “With Our Own Eyes: Con Nuestros Propios Ojos” focusing on a community of immigrants
from San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Michoacan, Mexico now residing in Paso Robles. The grant funded five projects throughout
the state as part of the Humanities’ statewide California Stories Uncovered project, documenting the daily lives of contemporary
California immigrants and refugees.
The project was directed by Pedro Inzunza Arroyo a writer and cultural activist who focused the project on the indigenous
community in Paso Robles to provide a “bi-national perspective of these communities through the eyes of its youth”.
The families and youth from San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro are the largest immigrant in the community of Paso Robles, California
and are descendants of the P’urhepecha indigenous community of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, a town in Michoacan. The community
of San Juan is recognized throughout Mexico and the world for a tragic volcanic explosion that destroyed the town in 1943.
The "With Our Own Eyes/Con Nuestros Propios Ojos" project provides insight about the P'urepecha youth, while encouraging student
participants to examine important questions about their family, culture, and community. The goal of the project is to create
a personal and collective photography exhibit documenting the P'urepecha youth experience from the inside out: narrated and
photographed by the youth themselves. The grant funded the purchase of cameras, film and processing, and framing expenses
to organize a photography exhibit. Since early September 2004, the immigrant youth participants attended photography workshops
and training. Thirteen youth participated in the project and took over 7,000 black and white photographs documenting their
experiences, families, traditions, and culture. Forty-three photographs are featured in the exhibit. The exhibit will travel
throughout the Central Coast and California.
– Press Release, Pedro Inzunza Arroyo, 2006
The exhibit opened 23 April 2005 at the Oak Park Recreation Center in Paso Robles and was open from 23 April to 19 May 2005.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo hosted the exhibit from 23 May to 30 June 2005. The collection was also exhibited at San Luis Obispo
High School in 2012.
Con Nuestros Propios Ojos era una exhibición foto-documental dirigida por jovenes originarios de la comunidad de San Juan
Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Michoacan, México y Paso Robles, California, Estados Unidos. La exhibición abrió el 23 de abril de
2005 en el Centro Recreativo Oak Park de Paso Robles y estuvo abierta del 23 de abril al 19 de mayo de 2005. Estaba en exhibición
en Cal Poly San Luis Obispo del 23 de mayo al 30 de junio de 2005. La colección también fue exhibida en San Luis Obispo High
School en el 2012.
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