On Migration, Vocation, and Social Justice for Immigrants

Dec 18, 2020

Renowned Guatemalan-American film director and producer Luis Argueta presented a lecture titled, “Ausencia: On Migrations, Vocations, and Social Justice,” on Thursday, February 18 at 4 p.m. via Zoom.

In this conversation on Central American migration, Argueta discussed his forthcoming documentary, Ausencia (Absence), which delves into migration pressures, patterns, and reintegration of returning migrants to Guatemala, as well as his personal reflection on vocation and the questions that inform his work.


Since 1977, Argueta has shared transnational immigrant stories through his works, which include feature films, documentaries, shorts, and commercial and episodic TV.  His film series on immigration—abUSed: The Postville Raid, ABRAZOS and The U Turn—shines a light on the true human face of immigrants, their resilience and struggles to succeed, as well as their contributions to their communities and to American society.  Argueta’s 1994 film, The Silence of Neto, was the first Guatemalan film to be submitted to the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.  In 2015, he became the only filmmaker to receive Guatemala’s highest honor, the Orden del Quetzal in the degree of Grand Officer. Argueta also received the 2019 Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award from the National Peace Corps Association.    

The lecture, which was rescheduled after cancellation last spring due to the pandemic, was the Ecumenical Institute’s 2021 St. Marie Eugenie Milleret Lectur and co-sponsored by Campus Ministry, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Cultures, the Latin American and Latino Studies program, and the Center for Purpose and Vocation.