Written by on May 26, 2006

Cal Poly Photo Exhibit Documents Immigrant Youth Living on Central Coast


Contact: Catherine Trujillo

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A powerful documentary photography exhibit that illustrates immigrant youngsters living on the Central Coast will be displayed in the Special Collections department of Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library from May 23 through June 30.

The exhibit, titled “With Our Own Eyes/Con Nuestros Propios Ojos,” is a project of the Latino Outreach Council of San Luis Obispo. The library and Latino Outreach Council will host an Opening reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, in the Kennedy Library Atrium.

The traveling exhibit focuses on the P’urepecha indigenous youth of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro in the Michoacan state of Mexico, who now live in Paso Robles. It provides a bi-national perspective of this community through the eyes of its youth.

The Latino Outreach Council was awarded a New Californians Story Project grant funded by the California Council for the Humanities. The grant supports projects that document the daily lives of contemporary California immigrant and refugee youth.

The Special Collections department of the Kennedy Library will create an archive of the photographs to further foster research for faculty and students in cross-cultural studies of San Luis Obispo County, said Catherine Trujillo, special collections curator.

Trujillo, project director Pedro Arroyo, and photographer Steve Miller guided the youth in creating a personal and collective photography exhibit documenting their experiences from the inside out, narrated and photographed by the youth themselves. Over the course of nine months, the youths documented their lives at home, at school, in the barrio and at family gatherings and celebrations, as well as in San Juan Nuevo, where many of them return yearly with their families.

The May 26 reception will feature Traditional P’urepecha dances of Los Curpites performed by Paso Robles area youth and organized by the Parangaricutiro International Benefit Organization. The exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Trujillo with Special Collections at 756-2305 or
For more information about the project, see this PDF.

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