Mockumentary Sparks Debate about Latino Heritage

As  part of Latino Heritage month, the University chapter of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) hosted a screening of the movie “Day Without a Mexican.”

The movie offers a satirical view of how different American life would be if Hispanics and Latinos in America were completely eliminated from states like California.

LASO’s Director of Communications, Tatiana Patrón, said she chose to show this movie to students because she hoped it would raise some questions about the issue of immigration.

“I chose this movie to try and show people how America would actually be without Hispanics and Latinos,” she said.

“I wanted to provoke questions about immigration, talk about how far immigrants have come and address stereotypes.”

According to the movie, 90 percent of crops in California are picked by Hispanics, as well as 20 percent of all K-12 teachers and 60 percent of construction workers coming from Hispanic descent.

The movie also points out that countless prominent celebrities, writers, scientists, news anchors, restaurant owners and doctors are of Hispanic heritage as well and claims that without them, American society would be drastically different.

Patron explained that not every Hispanic or Latino is illegal and said that it is not fair to categorize or generalize all Hispanics.

She believes events like this are extremely important to have on campus to help educate the student body of that fact.

“The mission of events like this is to educate and show others about our culture,” she said.

After the movie was shown, students were given the opportunity to respond and react.

Many students shared personal stories about how their family came to America. Other students discussed negative stereotypes the Hispanic culture has to deal with and others discussed what its like to be Hispanic in America.

Luis Donayre a member of LASO, a senior, math major and former Navy Seal said, “When I was in the Navy a man from down south asked me where I was from. I told him Peru and then he asked me what part of Mexico that was.”

Donayre went on to say he loves America and the opportunities it has provided him with, but he still sees a lot of ignorance when it comes to Hispanics and Latinos.

“Most Hispanic and Latino immigrants are hardworking,” he said. “Most just want a better life.”