"So she told me, 'Look, I could get clean needles for you.' That same day she brought me a box. That's when I started spreading the word." - Film Participant
PASA LA VOZ (SPREAD THE WORD) - Set in the trans-border community of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, PASA LA VOZ (SPREAD THE WORD) explores how Mexican and Mexican-American women work in solidarity to reduce the spread of HIV through a unique peer education program entitled Pasa La Voz: Mujer a Mujer.
Mujer a Mujer engages women from diverse backgrounds and experiences-some are housewives, others engage in sex work or use intravenous drugs-through peer-to-peer outreach and education around HIV. These women then become the "seeds" who then educate and pass resources to other hard to reach women in their social circles.
Despite sometimes adverse individual circumstances and living in social conditions where gender disparity,violence, poverty, and cultural discrimination constrain the choices they have, these women sustain an arrangement of compassionate community activism that promotes understanding and awareness around HIV/AIDS, provides access to resources to reduce risk of transmission,and creates a powerful trans-border social support network for healthand well-being.
Use the accompanying Discussion Guide below to help foster discussion about the specific health issues affiliated with living in a Border Town, specifically when it comes to outreach efforts to raise awareness and share resources to reduce HIV transmission.
Use this guide to help conceptualize and discuss the specific health issues affiliated with living in a Border Town specifically when it comes to outreach efforts to raise awareness and share resources to reduce HIV transmission.
- Peer-to-peer education as a way to do HIV outreach and prevention in hard-to-reachcommunities
- HIV transmission in the context of trans-border communities, poverty, limited resources, gendered roles, and stigma.
- What are some of the motives behind engaging members of different social networksinto HIV prevention activities?
- How is the personal woman-to-woman contact effective?
- Describe the challenges and assets unique to doing HIV education and outreach in this trans-border community.
- In what ways does socio-economic status affect a person's ability to make health positive choices?
- How can sex education help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS?
- What is the relationship between patriarchal family structure and female disempowerment and/or disease?
- What are examples of "cultural stigmas" and how can they lead to disease?
- What are the benefits and challenges of needle exchange programs?
- In what ways can the collaboration of several non-profit organizations lead to a greater thread of communication between more individuals?
Border AIDS Partnership (International)
Camino de Vida Center for HIV Services
Toll Free: 1-800-687-0850
Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe/La Fe Community Center
Families & Youth, Inc, MUACES
International AIDS Empowerment
Programa Compañeros, A.C.
National AIDS Fund
RYAN BYRNE: Originally from Huntington Beach, California, Ryan has completed his undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University in both Latin American History and Holistic Health. With family roots sprouting from Mazatlán, Mexico, he realizes the necessity of diversity as we collectively envision a community of social equality. A lover of food,bicycle rides, music, culture and books, he hopes to travel the world in order to meet fellow transformative leaders as we organize and collaborate a paradigm that recognizes the importance of social intelligence, constructive communication and health equity.
AMARA DAN: Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Amara has completed her undergraduate degree in cinema at San Francisco State University. Her love for short stories extends to short films, and documentaries remain the highlight. As a first generation Cambodian-American, she grew up with a family business- the first Cambodian restaurant in San Francisco. Hoping to carry on the business one day, she plans to return to Cambodia to learn more about its history, people, culture,and most importantly FOOD, where she will be carrying on tradition while preparing for a much more personal account for her next documentary.
JESSIE GARCIA: A California native, I, moved to Guadalajara, Mexico at a young age. I lived in Mexico for 10 years, completing elementary, middle, and high school. Upon graduating, I moved back to the US. I attended San Francisco State University as a Cinema major. Living between two countries has granted me different perspectives that I am thankful for. My Mexican-working-class background is what informs what kind of filmmaker I aspire to be. My background has cultivated a deep desire to make films that deal with social/political struggle. I hope to continue working with the community and to make significant contributions to thesocial justice, visibility, and representation of the common manthrough art and filmmaking.
*The information on these pages is provided by the student film makers and does not represent an endorsement or verification of statements from the Health Equity Institute