In the summer of 2004 in Quito, Ecuador six adolescents, two instructors, a cheap video camera and a computer came together. These elements when viewed apart are insignificant, but together they would lay the foundation for something that would change the lives of young people  throughout the Americas. The result of that summer was “Salsa and Tagua” the first documentary of our organization, La Poderosa Media Project.

Thanks to a grant from Wellesley College in 2006 La Poderosa Media Project was able to offer five digital media workshops to 120 Latin American young adults in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Ecuador and Argentina. That year we produced four short films and a documentary. This all occurred in communities that have historically lacked access to an art education and the success was contagious. Currently, more than ten instructors have signed on to give classes in filmmaking, screenwriting, photography, acting and production.

In 2009 the program extended to university students from the United States interested in immersing themselves in Spanish language and Latin American culture. The chance to participate in this program allows them to interact with Latin American students of roughly the same age and gain a truly intercultural experience.

Today, La Poderosa extends to other sites of the continent uniting non-profits, social innovators, Latin-American youths, US college students and instructors with the aim of achieving a more balanced relationship between cultures that have lived vastly different realities.  Besides the digital media workshops that have been flourishing since 2009 in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador the organization is establishing programs in other parts of Latin America.

Two video cameras, 400 Latin American young adults, 30 US college students, over 20 instructors, and 9 participating countries later have produced award winning films. More importantly, La Poderosa Media Project has become a platform for egalitarian exchange, transforming communities one story at a time.

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