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the Cortes family from 120 Days

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2019 UPDATES - Hello to all, and thanks very much for your interest and support!

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:

Much has happened in the lives of the Cortes family since our last updates (listed below), and a lot of positive change has occurred thanks to your kindness and generosity. For that we are all very grateful.

In January 2019 (from Maria Luisa’s email), “Saydrel finally received her bachelor´s degree! It was a small ceremony but very special and meaningful for us. It was a moment that we all experienced many emotions. There have been plenty of years of effort that haven´t been easy for us. But nonetheless all the hard work has its reward in the end. In a few months she will start the paperwork in order to obtain her professional license.”

Yael started taking college classes for digital animation and finished 2 quarters, including a field trip to visit the animation studios in Guadalajara. Unfortunately she needed to take temporary medical leave this fall for a few weeks, and hopes to restart her studies in the coming year.

Maria Luisa and Miguel both have had medical problems this year. Maria Luisa had knee surgery and underwent physical therapy to recover in the spring. Things were getting better until she was in a car accident and damaged her shoulder, then to make matters worse she fell and broke 2 ribs this fall. Miguel has been in and out of the hospital for an acute renal insufficiency (kidney problems) and has started taking long term medication to keep him healthy.

From Miguel and M.L.: “We want to deeply thank our supporters through the Gofundme page without their help we wouldn´t have been able to finish building our house and furnish our home to Maria Luisa´s needs. We pray for blessings for all who have supported us all this time. Living in México has not been easy but thanks to you all we have been able to overcome some difficulties. We will always be grateful for your generosity, you have made a big difference in our lives. Sending much love, M. ML. Y. S.”

I also want to thank you personally for you interest and support in helping the Corteses, and for taking the time to watch our film and respond so positively. It’s amazing to see the real-life improvements we have been able to make in this extremely difficult situation.

Happy holidays, and many thanks!

Ted Roach
Director “120 Days”


Ted Roach
Durham, NC

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