Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  56 minutes
Date:  1994
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English; Maya; Spanish
Grade level: 9-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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Mayan Voices: American Lives

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Contrasts the experiences of Mayan families who came to Indiantown, Florida as refugees fleeing the violence in Guatemala in the early 1980s, with the struggles of those continuing to arrive in search of better lives.

Mayan Voices: American Lives

This film is on one (1) DVD together with the films Todos Santos Cuchumatan and Todos Santos: The Survivors
Following the award-winning TODOS SANTOS CUCHUMATAN and TODOS SANTOS: THE SURVIVORS, MAYAN VOICES: AMERICAN LIVES explores the everyday life of a community of indigenous Mayan indians who fled Guatemala's political violence in 1981 and settled in the United States.

Set in Indiantown, Florida, a small agricultural town near West Palm Beach, and Provincetown, Massachussets, the film contrasts the experiences of families who came as refugees ten years earlier, with the struggles of those continuing to arrive in search of better lives. It demonstrates the impact 5,000 new immigrants with a foreign language and culture is having on the still predominantly white community.

MAYAN VOICES: AMERICAN LIVES explores issues of identity, cultural integration, migration, and social change. Interviews with Mayan high school students, a teen mother, community leaders and migrant workers reveal the horrors which forced them to flee their country and negative emotions which have deep roots in the oppression that has marked Guatemalan history.

As newspaper headlines, photos, and titles underscore these issues, MAYAN VOICES: AMERICAN LIVES breaks through refugee/migrant worker stereotypes and looks deep into the human spirit as it confronts an ever-changing world, while giving voice to an historically silent people.

'A wonderful resource for teachers, students, policy makers, and ordinary citizens who want to better understand the dynamics of the 'new immigration' to the U.S. and its impact on American communities.'-Norma Stoltz Chinchilla, Professor of Sociology, California State University Long Beach

'A wonderful look from within the lives of Mayan and other Guatemalan teenagers, young parents, and older immigrants now living in the U.S.'-Allan F. Burns, Professor of Anthropology, University of Florida, Author: MAYA IN EXILE.

'A provocative study of a timely issue for many U.S. communities.'Booklist

'An excellent addition to any college library.'-Multicultural Education


** 1995 Native American Film and Video Festival
** 1995 American Anthropological Association Conference
** 1994 Award of Merit, Latin American Studies Association


Main credits

Carrescia, Olivia Lucia (film producer)
Carrescia, Olivia Lucia (film director)
Carrescia, Olivia Lucia (film editor)
Carrescia, Olivia Lucia (narrator)

Other credits

Cinematographer, Vincent Galindez.

Distributor credits

A Film by Olivia Carrescia

Docuseek2 subjects

Central America
American Studies
Indigenous Studies
Cultural Anthropology
Latino and Hispanic Studies
Latin American Studies

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Central America
Civil Rights
Cultural Anthropology
Economic Sociology
Family Relations
Latin America
Latino Studies
Multi-Cultural Studies
North America
Urban Studies


Guatemala; Mayans; immigrants; Olivia; Carrescia; documentary; film; video; "Mayan Voices: American Lives"; Icarus Films;

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