Many remote communities around the globe are on the threshold of change as the impacts of globalization and shifting resources threaten traditional ways of living. While opportunities can be found through navigating these changes, losses will also be inevitable.
Santa Cruz del Islote is a three-acre island approximately fifty miles off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, in South America. Fishing has been the foundation of life on Santa Cruz del Islote ever since Afro-Colombian fishermen developed the island from an existing sandbar in the 19th century. Due to historically abundant and lucrative fishing opportunities, the island has been able to sustain many residents. Because of its small size, it is currently one of the most densely populated islands on the planet with approximately 1,200 inhabitants.
Residents on Santa Cruz del Islote report a strong sense of community with no violence or crime. Life there is changing rapidly, forcing locals to consider moving. According to The City Paper of Bogata, fishing resources have dwindled in just the last decade* threatening the island’s subsistence and causing some residents to leave the island to pursue employment and educational opportunities.
The short film, Santa Cruz Del Islote, introduces viewers to two islanders, Juancho, a fisherman, and Juan Pablo, a 10-year-old student, who are both contemplating their future. Juancho mourns a decreasing fish population and potential loss of an entire way of life, while Juan Pablo dreams of an education off the island. Both are at the nexus of change, with forces beyond their control likely to extinguish their traditional way of life.
Connections to National Standards
Common Core English Language Arts. L.9-10.5 and L.11-12.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Common Core English Language Arts. SL.9-10.5 and SL.11-12.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. D2.Geo.2.9-12. Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.