The Salinas Project


by Linda Castillo

When I tell people I live in Salinas I usually get one of two reactions.  Either they have never heard of Salinas or if they have heard of Salinas they only know about the stories in the media about gangs and violence. The documentary “The Salinas Project” by Carolyn Brown is helping viewers understand a community that is often misrepresented in the media and share stories of successes and hope from the Salinas community.

“The Salinas Project” will be showing at the Carmel International Film Festival on Saturday, October 18, 2:00 p.m.

The Salinas Project- Official Trailer from Carolyn Brown on Vimeo.

Film Synopsis:

On the east side of Salinas, in a neighborhood known as Alisal, deplorable housing conditions and gang violence are part of daily life. Alisal is 92% Latino with a per capita annual income of $11,917. Despite the challenges there are big changes happening in the community and a sense of renewal and pride. Young people are surviving and thriving. This documentary profiles the children of immigrant farm workers living in Salinas. Without resources, and sometimes undocumented, their future is often uncertain, but their hope and resilience is abundant.

This film helps viewers understand a community that is often misrepresented in the media. News stories focus on gang violence, often marginalizing the lives of those who work in the fields and their children. The film brings to light the systemic causes of the problems in East Salinas and highlights the successes and hopes of this community. The Salinas Project is an expanded exploration of the lives of four young people who are overcoming the social, political and economic constraints that confront many Latinos in America.

Image courtesy of

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Linda Castillo is the Founder and Executive Editor of She writes on topics that empower and inspire Latinas including art, motherhood, green living, culture, travel, and issues transforming the Latino community. Linda has earned a B.S. in Business and a M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.