The Tijuana Project


una luz en la basura
Produced by John Sheedy, Scot Davis, & Brian McKnight
The Tijuana Project is a documentary film about the people who pick through the trash at the Tijuana garbage dump for survival and the lives of six children who live next to this immense mountain for trash. The stories that the children bring to light cover a range of pressing global themes such as garbage management, recycling, health issues, drug abuse, education, and family. This film is about creating vibrant, healthy bridges across borders in a community that was described by Mother Teresa as one of “the world’s most destitute”.
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It depicts a poverty stricken neighborhood just miles from the U.S. border that hangs beneath a virtual cloud of seagulls, scavenging alongside the workers. Ultimately, it tells the story of the heart, hope and humanity that somehow survive under heart wrenching conditions. The revolutionary acts of those building long-term solutions such as the hope of a school in the dump, has created an air of opportunity that is most effectively seen in this documentary by the enthusiasm of the children who live there.

Tijuana Project Trailer

The stories that the children bring to light cover a range of pressing global themes such as garbage management, recycling, health issues, drug abuse, education, and family.

The children are confronted daily by the drugs and violence in their neighborhood and one of the parents disappears part way through the film in a drug related incident. They overcome these obstacles through hard work, play and the support of their school.

The children where also active in helping make the film through their help with the cameras and one young participant helps narrate the film. The film ends on a hopeful note as the children of the dump parade a giant puppet theater through their neighborhood as a celebration of community.
Towards the end of the production I was invited to Nicaragua to help the founders of the school in the Tijuana dump open a school in a Nicaragua dump. This chapter will be included as a DVD extra as well as facts such as the World Banks estimate that 15 million people worldwide live and work in dumps.

Tijuana Project - Full Length Feature

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