Tuesday, September 15, 2020
“Building the American Dream,” a new VOCES/PBS documentary, examines the effects of construction booms in the American Southwest on Latino workers by telling the stories of those erecting buildings in Texas. The stories, however, could have been drawn from many moments and many places: Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, and Hobbs, New Mexico have all seen construction booms since the Great Depression. Homes and skyscrapers have popped up almost overnight thanks to cheap labor Latino immigrants provide contractors.
Director Chelsea Hernandez said she’d been working on the film since 2009 and its a microcosm of the exploitation Latino construction workers face in the U.S.
The film, though a partnership with Latino Public Broadcasting, is scheduled to begin airing on most PBS stations on Tuesday September 15 to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. It will also be available for streaming on PBS.