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Oregon Latino Oral History Project

Over the past several decades, Oregon’s Latino population has evolved into a vibrant part of our education, business, non-profit and public sectors. The Oregon Latino Oral History Project, a collaboration with Milagro Theatre, celebrates this evolution by recording, screening and archiving the stories of Latino leaders who have witnessed, lived and influenced this change.

The project began in the spring of 2017 inspired by Héroes Magníficos, an earlier effort with Portland, Oregon area Latino youth. Emerging Latino filmmakers worked with Film Center faculty and Milagro Executive Director Jose Gonzalez to interview these Latino elders. These elders reflect eloquently on their paths while revealing the power of education and everyday heroes, or héroes magnífícos, in their lives and the collective culture.

Conversations collected through the project are being shared through public screenings, online distribution and the Film Center’s monthly cable television program.  Additional interviews will be added to this webpage as the project continues in 2018 and beyond.

Special thanks to:

Héroes Magníficos – Interview with Gale Castillo from NW Film Center on Vimeo.

Founder and Executive Director of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Gail Castillo discusses her early years in Texas, experiences as an Oregon educator and political advisor, and how the Latino community has grown and changed over the last three decades. The interview was conducted at Milagro Theatre in April 2017 by emerging Latino filmmakers from Portland area colleges and universities, with support from the Film Center’s faculty of teaching artists.

Héroes Magníficos – Interview with Maria Caballero Rubio from NW Film Center on Vimeo.

Executive Director of Centro Cultural, based in Cornelius, Maria Caballero Rubio discusses her early years as a farm worker in the fields of rural Washington County and her many years in public service, including as a community policing officer at the local and national levels and as a diversity advisor to Portland Mayor Tom Potter. The interview was conducted at Milagro Theatre in April 2017 by emerging Latino filmmakers from Portland area colleges and universities, with support from the Film Center’s faculty of teaching artists.

Héroes Magníficos – Interview with José Romero from NW Film Center on Vimeo.

Educator and activist José Romero recounts his early upbringing in Southern California and his journey into education and advocacy, in particular as a founder of Colégio César Chávez in Woodburn, a founder of the Oregon César Chávez Student Leadership Conference, and as a leader in the effort to rename a major Portland street for César Chávez. The interview was conducted at Milagro Theatre in April 2017 by emerging Latino filmmakers from Portland area colleges and universities, with support from the Film Center’s faculty of teaching artists.