I Belong In Temaca

Irene Bonilla

The following is a guest blog by Irene Bonilla, whom I was lucky enough to meet and get to know while in Temacapulín, Mexico during Rivers for Life 3 in 2010. Over the past year Irene, Steve Fisher and Carla Pataky have been working on the film "I Belong in Temaca" which you can view below.

Temacapulín is a beautiful town in Los Altos de jalisco, México.
In 2005 the government of Jalisco told residents that they planned to build a reservoir dam that would provide water to León, Guanajauato, and Guadalajara, Jalisco. They explained that the Temaca would be flooded and demanded that the residents sell their land and agree to be moved to a new location.

Since that time the people of Temaca have been fighting to save their town. They have spent the last six years organizing protests, forums, and cultural festivals, among many other actions and yet the government refuses to listen to them. In October of 2010, International Rivers hosted Rivers for Life III in Temaca in which 64 countries were represented.

Chuy (the actor in the video I belong in Temaca) is an 11 year old child who explains to us what its like to grow up in a town under threat and in resistance. In the video Chuy sends messages to those responsible for the construction of the dam, explaining to them what it feels like to imagine your home, flooded. 

Dams are a threat to communities all across the world and, indeed, 40-80 million people have been displaced due to dams. 

Its time to rise up in defense of rivers!

About the filmmakers:

Irene Bonilla is a human rights advocate and environmentalist from Guadalajara, Jalisco. She has worked with marginalized communities on the outskirts of Guadalajara along with rural communities in Chiapas, Cuquio, El Salto, and La Sierra Wixirika and Tlajomulco. Irene is currently working with Latino youth in the 67 Dreams organization in San Francisco, California. 

Steve Fisher is multimedia journalist who spent a year giving citizen's media workshops in Temacapulin and elsewhere in Mexico. He is currently working as a reporter for the online news site Oakland Local and will be attending the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in the Fall.

Carla Pataky, from Tijuana is a visual artist, focused on documentary and participatory media production for community development with an emphasis on social and environmental subjects.