Common Ground World Premiere at Pacific Rim Film Fest

Our hot-off-the-press short documentary, Common Ground, will premiere at the wonderful Pacific Rim Film Festival in Santa Cruz County. The goal of this festival is to promote cultural understanding. We feel this is a perfect fit for our film.
It screens Sunday October 21 at 4pm in Watsonville at the Cabrillo College Center on the city plaza. A second screening will take place at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz on Wednesday October 24 at 12pm. Both screenings are absolutely FREE.
We’ll be in attendance at both screenings. See you there!

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Canal Once presenta El Andalón por su señal internacional

Ahora más gente tendrá la oportunidad de conocer a Don Sergio!

El Canal Once de México transmitirá El Andalón por su señal internacional el sábado 22 de septiembre a las 19:30 horario Pacífico. Ésta es una versión en español SIN subtítulos en inglés disponible en Estados Unidos por cable y satélite. Si tienen DirecTV se puede ver en el Canal 447. Si tienen cable, busquen Canal Once México.

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Watch El Andalón Online For Free!

The Culture Unplugged “We Speak Here” Online Film Festival promotes “the dream of a more compassionate humanity.” It features many fascinating films from around the world, including El Andalón (The Healer). All the films are free, and no registration is required.

You can WATCH EL ANDALON HERE for a limited time.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see Don Sergio’s inspiring story at a festival or community screening, now is your chance!

After you’ve watched the film, you will have the opportunity to vote and comment on it, and make a direct donation to Don Sergio’s humanitarian work.

Please take advantage of this great opportunity to see the film. And be sure to tell your friends, so they can watch it too!

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El Andalón DVDs for Sale Online!

We have wonderful news: After two years, 25 film festivals and 6 awards, El Andalón (The Healer) is finally available for purchase on DVD!

Along with the original film, the DVD contains outtakes, a 5-minute feature delving deeper into Don Sergio’s medical work, details on the film’s beautiful music, and ways  to get involved.

The DVD is currently available through online purchase through the following trustworthy vendors:

Film Baby



A portion of each sale will be donated to the humanitarian work of Don Sergio in Chiapas, and also helps us continue our documentary work.

Also taking a minute or two to write a review on any of those sites makes a world of difference.

If you are interested in purchasing El Andalón for university, library, organizational, or departmental use, please contact us directly through the contact page on the website, as pricing is different.

Teachers: We also have excellent middle/high school lesson plans available for use with the film. Please contact us.

El Andalón will also be available for VOD/online streaming soon; stay tuned for details in a future post!

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Catching Up & DVD for Sale

Two months have slipped by with no posts? Let’s catch up!
Here’s a quick rundown of our recent activities:

1/ El Andalón was the feature film – and one of many wonderful short documentaries – at the first Watsonville Film Festival in late February.

In fact, we were worried that few people would show up since the festival took place on the day of the Academy Awards. However, a strong interest in locally produced films saved the day, and the event SOLD OUT!  More than 700 fans of film filled Watsonville’s Mello Center. It was a magnificent experience and we can’t wait to do it again next year! Here’s a nice article about it. And you can keep up to date here.

2/ We spent the better part of March and April working on funding future films, and presenting El Andalón at local schools.

Without exception, the student reaction was one of interest and involvement. They asked great questions, had a sincere desire to donate to Don Sergio’s work in Chiapas, and thought about how improve their own communities.

And thanks to the wonderful, caring teachers who have made our visits so memorable. We are hoping to continue the visits next school year.

3/ Today we screened El Andalón at the Santa Cruz County County Health Services Auditorium, for a training on cultural competency for mental health care providers.

Thank you so much to Jaime Molina  for organizing the event! Gracias también to medical experts Valli Barrioz & Patricia Ferrer (via skype) for participating in the excellent Q&A session.

4/ And finally, EL ANDALÓN IS AVAILABLE ON DVD! You can purchase it online at Film Baby, a “haven for independent filmmakers” like us. The DVD includes an extra featurette called “A Medical Perspective,” as well as extended outtakes, and more.

A portion of each purchase goes to support Don Sergio’s humanitarian work, so get your copy now, and please spread the word!

For library/college/institutional sales, please write to us directly through our website contact page.

The film will also available for streaming in the near future, so stay tuned…

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New Screening Date & Great Article on Don Sergio

We hope 2012 finds you in good health & spirits.

Mark your calendars! El Andalón’s next public screening will take place at the first
Watsonville Film Festival on Sunday, February 26th from 4:00-6:30pm
at the Mello Center, 250 E. Beach St. on the Watsonville High campus.

The festival’s theme is “The Power of One.” It will be a wonderful afternoon event showcasing short documentaries by local professional & student filmmakers. We will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening.

You can purchase advance tickets online or at Second St Café. Ticket proceeds benefit Watsonville TEC, a wonderful program that helps underserved youth build academic skills & careers in technology.

In the meantime, you can learn more about El Andalón’s inspirational protagonist Sergio Castro in this fantastic article, available at The Daily Good and Optimist World. Written by French writer/traveler Benjamin Mariotte, it describes his first-hand experience visiting Don Sergio in Chiapas.

Benjamin, by the way, translated the subtitles of El Andalón into French for the upcoming DVD release. Merci beaucoup, Benjamin!

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Thank you from Sergio Castro/Agradecimiento de Sergio Castro

A few words from Don Sergio Castro about his work and your support.

Unas palabras de Don Sergio Castro sobre sus proyectos y el apoyo económico que ha recibido.

As we finish 2011, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to each of you for supporting Don Sergio and El Andalón. Stay tuned for more news and updates as the journey continues. We wish you the best in the coming year. Peace to all.

Agradecemos profundamente el apoyo brindado a Don Sergio y El Andalón durante el 2011. Sin duda habrá más noticias que compartir y celebrar el año que viene. Nuestros mejores deseos para el 2012. Paz para todos.


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Donation Challenge: Amazing Response!

This is absolutely amazing… Victoria’s generous donation challenge (see previous post) garnered more than $10,000 in donations for Sergio Castro’s humanitarian work!! Muchísimas gracias to Victoria for her incredible generosity, and Apple Computers as well, for kicking in matching funds.

We spoke with Don Sergio by phone last week, and he sends his heartfelt thanks to all of you who donated from around the globe. We’d also like to add a “big thanks” to those who contributed at the El Andalón screening in Aptos that week. These donations make a huge, positive impact in the lives of hundreds of patients in and around San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.

It’s wonderful to see that the network of folks helping Don Sergio and the people of Chiapas is growing each month. And we’re honored that our modest documentary has been able to play a role in the process.

Victoria’s challenge is over, but the medical needs of the people of Chiapas continue. If you’d like to make a donation, or learn more, please visit the Yok Chij webpage.

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Awesome Donation Challenge Nov. 11-18!

Great news: A supporter of Sergio Castro has offered a donation challenge. This week only, you can more than double your donation to Don Sergio’s humanitarian work! We’ve pasted a copy of her letter below. Thank you so much for this Victoria, you’re an angel!!!

Hi Everyone,

Wow, Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I just want to thank you all for such an incredible year of change and growth. You guys are just wonderful and I am so grateful to have met new faces, new places.

As a way of giving back, I wanted to do something bold… but honestly I don’t even know where to start. Um, so here it goes:

Several years back when I was in Mexico, I met Sergio Castro and Patricia Ferrer who were running a small philanthropic operation for the Mayan indigenous in the colonial town of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Though abundant in natural beauty, artistic legacy and magic-realism, the state of Chiapas lacks many basic services and the surroundings are scenes of poverty. Poor villagers with any sort of mild to severe burns, inflammations, lesions or injuries would call upon these free services. Tourists filled the funding gap to pay for bandages, ointments, gauze pads, and miscellaneous supplies. In addition, there are water and school projects built to remedy the lack that exists in this southern Mexican state.

However, due to drug violence, times have been particularly severe in Mexico and people can’t get even basic needs met. Having lived there, I can personally attest to the sincerity and the immense good this doctor contributes for his community on a grassroots level. They live day-to-day and attend to patients with genuine humility. So if he has the heart to touch his community in such a genuine way, then I can push myself too.

… So guys, I dare you to challenge me.

No, seriously. Let’s do a one-week drive from now until November 18, 2011.

Whatever you donate on Paypal, I pledge to double that amount (up to $1000) and Pete’s company will also equal that through their Corporate Gifts Matching program. So if you can give $50, then I’ll give $100 out of my pocket and the company will match that another $100—effectively scaling your fifty to two hundred fifty.

The medical work is such a miracle for those who receive it, in a place where money goes very far in providing help that people need. And I am sure that my friends are such great people that I’m going to cringe at the check I’ll have to write for next Friday. So hold me to it.

Ready? You have one week to meet the challenge! Go!

You can donate via Paypal thru Sergio Castro’s Website.

Or, if you’d like a 501(c) tax-deductible receipt, mail a check with “Yok Chij, A.C” on the memo line to:

IF Integrities
160 Sunflower Lane
Watsonville, CA 95076 USA
More info on Sergio Castro’s Humanitarian work:

Blog: Blogspot dedicated to Sergio Castro, by Patricia Ferrer, PA.
Sergio Castro’s Humanitarian Page on Facebook

Thank you! I can’t wait to see how this experiment unfolds.
Stay warm,
Victoria Tai

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October Screenings: Watsonville, Stanford and México

We’re excited that our documentary El Andalón will participate in three public showings in October, including a free screening in Watsonville!

FREE screening Wednesday, October 12 at 12pm.
Watsonville Public Library Meeting Room
275 Main St., downtown Watsonville


Saturday, October 29 at 4pm
Cantor Arts Center, 328 Lomita Dr., on the Stanford University campus
Full schedule here. Please note that UNAFF is using the English title
for our film, “The Healer.”


Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm
Angela Peralta Theater, historic San Miguel
The film’s protagonist, Sergio Castro, and his wife Elsa will be in attendance at this very special screening & fundraising event!
We hope you can attend. If you need assistance with travel arrangements, please contact Betsy McNair at My Mexico Tours.

The filmmakers will be in attendance at all three events.

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