the Cortes family from 120 Days

$11,870 of $20k goal

Raised by 188 people in 17 months
Ted Roach  DURHAM, NC
Hello, this is Ted Roach, the director and producer of the documentary, "120 Days." I am trying to raise money to directly help Miguel and Maria Luisa Cortes rebuild their lives and educate their daughters back in Mexico.

If you've seen the film, you know that the Corteses are the family of focus. They were a hard-working, productive, immigrant family living in Raleigh, NC before being split up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement a few years ago. More info on the situation and film at: www.120DaysMovie.com.

My wife and I have been helping their youngest daughter, Saydrel, get into college in Morelia, Mexico, where she would like to pursue a career in helping disabled children. She did very well on her placement tests recently and was accepted in the fall of 2015. So the whole family would like to move back to Morelia and secure their house so she can attend in a safe environment. They do have a house there, but it doesn't have floors or a secure fence (pictures attached). This is why we are raising money, to finish the house and create educational opportunities for both of their daughters.
This money will all go directly to the Corteses, except for the GoFundMe fee which is about 6%. This first money will all go towards the house finishing costs (floors, a fence, secure doors and locks). This will cost around $5000. Then we would like to create an educational account for the girls. Only Saydrel is currently in school, but we want to encourage Yael to return as well. We personally have provided tuition for 2015 and a laptop computer, and will continue to help along with any contributions you decide to make.

After spending 4 months with the family and documenting their last days together in the States, I feel very strongly that these people did not deserve to be first torn apart, then forced back to the country they fled over a decade ago. Once I got to know the Corteses and understood why they tried to make a life in the US for their daughters, it reminded me of the same reasons that brought my own Irish forefathers over generations ago. 

Miguel and Maria Luisa are ineligible for any legal way to come back to the US where their girls were raised and educated. There is no "line to get into," so the only legal course of action is to help them try to achieve their shattered American dreams back in their home country of Mexico. I want them to have hope and opportunities, both of which are currently hard for them to find. And I personally want to see them rewarded for being courageous enough to stand up and show us all what it means to be undocumented immigrants in the United States today, at great risk to themselves and their extended family.

The Corteses and I would be very thankful for any donations you feel able to contribute. I will continue to post updates and new photos throughout this fundraising effort because I want you to see the money being put to good use. Here's a few pics we just received from Saydrel on a recent class trip to a children's neuromusculoskeletal disorders hospital:
We also have plans to try to get Saydrel accepted into a US university for the fall of 2016, so there will be updates on this effort as well. Your help is greatly appreciated, and will honestly give one loving, tight-knit family hope for a better future.

Thanks for your time and consideration, and please email me if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Ted Roach
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Update 3
Posted by Edgar Roach
8 months ago
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2
2
PS- FILM UPDATE: ITUNES has made "120 Days" a featured 99¢ documentary rental this week, and included it in "new & noteworthy" section, so it's a great time to share/spread the word if you know others who would appreciate this family's story. And please click into iTunes and rate the film/leave comments to keep us on the radar. We actually broke into the top 50 in documentaries over the weekend, very exciting to see the documentary reaching new and larger audiences. Any help in sharing and/or rating greatly appreciated! http://apple.co/1MbnKKM
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Update 2
Posted by Edgar Roach
8 months ago
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Hello Cortes family supporters and friends,

Hope all are having a great summer! Thank you very much for your donations and help, and I thought you'd like to hear an update on the Corteses and their recent progress. Saydrel sent me her 2nd quarter report card from the University of Morelia, which showed all 10's and one 9 in a variety of psychology and other science classes. Outstanding work Saydrel, congrats! Yael will be starting career training in cosmetology soon, and is taking a trial class this summer before choosing her school and specialty. Both have emailed me many thanks to send back to you for these opportunities. On the home front, Miguel has finished the exterior security wall/fence around their house, and completed some of the flooring inside as well. I'm attaching some pictures below and also in a separate post. Our donations have provided these materials, and Miguel has done all the work himself. You have also contributed to tuition, school supplies, food and necessities. Maria Luisa and Miguel always end their emails with thanks to all those who have reached out to help. We greatly appreciate your support and interest, and look forward to sending more updates in a few weeks. Please feel free to email me with any questions, as always.

Thank you very much,
Ted Roach and the Cortes family
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Update 1
Posted by Edgar Roach
12 months ago
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1
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UPDATES! Hello supporters of our campaign to help the Cortes family (from our documentary "120 Days"). I wanted to let everyone know that your donations have allowed construction to begin on a protective wall to secure the Cortes home in Morelia. To save money, Miguel has committed to doing all the work himself, and it looks like he has made a lot of progress so far! Here are a few pictures below to illustrate. They also hope to install flooring in the house soon, which is currently a dirt floor. They will receive another group donation from us this week of about $500 (and they have received over $1600 from this gofundme campaign so far). We raised almost $300 at our film screening March 4th at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh, and we are currently booking other screenings this spring to continue this effort. Your donations are being used for the building materials, educational expenses for Saydrel's studies in child psychology (my wife and I have been paying her tuition separately), and Yael has just enrolled in her first vocational training class for a career as a cosmotologist. Miguel and his family have asked me to let you all know how much they appreciate your help, and I would also like to say a very special thanks for all your support. Congratulations to Saydrel for all her progress as she completes her first year of college this spring, and to Yael as she starts a new career! Also, "120 Days" is now available on iTunes, Hulu, and many other VOD platforms so please recommend the film to your friends, and rate the movie on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes to keep getting the word out (more info at www.120DaysMovie.com). Many thanks for caring and helping make a difference, more updates coming soon...

Best regards,
Ted, Leah, and all the cast and crew
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Read a Previous Update
Karla Koch Britfeld
2 months ago
5
5

I was so heartbroken after watching this documentary. I posted the story to Facebook and got immediate negative feedback from the conservative folks who couldn't be bothered to watch it but were all too happy to reply with nasty, negative invective. Nevertheless, I have told the story to my friends and have forwarded the Go Fund Me information to everyone I know in the hopes that more funds could flow to them. My husband and I donated our Christmas fund to the Cortes family and hope that it will help them a little. The immigration policy we have in United States is simply evil. The Cortes family should be held as an example of the kinds of people we WANT to invite to this country. And we need a clearer path to legalization of residents and a right to citizenship. Something has gotta give. Thank you to the producers of "120 Days". The story must be told.

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Brittany Heagy Bailey
15 months ago
4
4

Thank you so much for doing this Ted. My family has known the Corteses for many years. We miss them terribly and are disheartened by the updates Maria Luisa's mom gives us. It was so good to see Saydrel's face in the photos. Too much time has passed and I'm glad to see a glimpse of their life in Mexico.

+ Read More
Janelle Campbell
1 month ago
2
2

My heart goes out to Miguel and his family. Thank you for doing this documentary, puts names and faces to these families... They are an absolutely beautiful family. He, Maria Luisa, and girls are in my thoughts today. As a mother of two daughters, it touched me see parents just doing what they could to help their children succeed.

+ Read More
Ambriel NOgmo
1 month ago
2
2

I'll donate what I can at the end of the month, it won't be very much, but as they say "every little bit helps." I too struggle to make ends meet on a part-time, biweekly income. For me the Cortes family represents the 'salt of the earth,' a basic, fundamental goodness, people who are thoroughly decent. Miguel did not deserve to be thrown out of the United States. Americans could learn a thing or two from good people like the Cortes family. I hope to God that they and the many thousands of decent hardworking families like Cortes family, find security, peace and happiness somewhere in this world, despite the very unpleasant, hideous, sick and twisted unjust world that we have which is in a perpetual state of war, with people who don't deserve to be mistreated and countries around the world. I feel positive the earth is struggling to sustain life on our planet as well. Buena suerte, y que Dios bendiga a su familia siempre. And thank you so much Mr. Roach.

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$11,870 of $20k goal

Raised by 188 people in 17 months
Created November 1, 2015
WP
$50
William Palmer
1 day ago
CT
$50
Candy Trout
3 days ago

Hoping the girls can continue their education.

$25
Anonymous
7 days ago
$25
Debi Day
8 days ago

Heartbreaking! Sending love and support....

AS
$20
Albuquerque Sympathizer
11 days ago

Good luck, dear Cortes family!

$25
Bill Ferguson
11 days ago

I am an ESL Teacher of more than 20 years. I have found that my Adult students and their families contribute greatly to our communities through law-abiding patriotism, hard work & paying taxes, religious values and generosity giving back. I wish I saw this even half as much in the rest of Americans. We must not forget the Cortez family, and other innocent immigrants who have been deported unfairly. Support sanctuary cities and immigrant communities.

MR
$100
Michael Ryan
11 days ago
1
1

May God help your wonderful family.

WP
$40
William Parks
11 days ago
1
1
$25
Wayne Stover
21 days ago
MM
$100
Mur Muchane
22 days ago

A truly inspiring family in so many ways! Thank you for sharing your story!

Karla Koch Britfeld
2 months ago
5
5

I was so heartbroken after watching this documentary. I posted the story to Facebook and got immediate negative feedback from the conservative folks who couldn't be bothered to watch it but were all too happy to reply with nasty, negative invective. Nevertheless, I have told the story to my friends and have forwarded the Go Fund Me information to everyone I know in the hopes that more funds could flow to them. My husband and I donated our Christmas fund to the Cortes family and hope that it will help them a little. The immigration policy we have in United States is simply evil. The Cortes family should be held as an example of the kinds of people we WANT to invite to this country. And we need a clearer path to legalization of residents and a right to citizenship. Something has gotta give. Thank you to the producers of "120 Days". The story must be told.

+ Read More
Brittany Heagy Bailey
15 months ago
4
4

Thank you so much for doing this Ted. My family has known the Corteses for many years. We miss them terribly and are disheartened by the updates Maria Luisa's mom gives us. It was so good to see Saydrel's face in the photos. Too much time has passed and I'm glad to see a glimpse of their life in Mexico.

+ Read More
Janelle Campbell
1 month ago
2
2

My heart goes out to Miguel and his family. Thank you for doing this documentary, puts names and faces to these families... They are an absolutely beautiful family. He, Maria Luisa, and girls are in my thoughts today. As a mother of two daughters, it touched me see parents just doing what they could to help their children succeed.

+ Read More
Ambriel NOgmo
1 month ago
2
2

I'll donate what I can at the end of the month, it won't be very much, but as they say "every little bit helps." I too struggle to make ends meet on a part-time, biweekly income. For me the Cortes family represents the 'salt of the earth,' a basic, fundamental goodness, people who are thoroughly decent. Miguel did not deserve to be thrown out of the United States. Americans could learn a thing or two from good people like the Cortes family. I hope to God that they and the many thousands of decent hardworking families like Cortes family, find security, peace and happiness somewhere in this world, despite the very unpleasant, hideous, sick and twisted unjust world that we have which is in a perpetual state of war, with people who don't deserve to be mistreated and countries around the world. I feel positive the earth is struggling to sustain life on our planet as well. Buena suerte, y que Dios bendiga a su familia siempre. And thank you so much Mr. Roach.

+ Read More
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