Los Trabajadores/The Workers
Independent Lens Season 4

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Episode Info

Los Trabajadores is the senior thesis project of filmmaker Heather Courtney, who received her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1999, Austin is seen as one of America's fastest growing cities. This documentary follows a year in the lives of two illegal immigrants who have greatly contributed to the booming Texas construction industry despite their own personal risks. Ramón Castillo Aparicio and Juan Ignacio Gutiérrez are day laborers, unofficial workers who fill the gaps in the official work force. They work in any capacity of physical labor, usually due to undocumented status or poor English skills. Courtney explores the controversies surrounding day labor and the difficulties of immigration. She also visits Juan's family in Mexico to see the women and girls who depend on his income. Part of the Independent Lens series on PBS, Los Trabajadores also won the International Documentary Association's David L. Wolper Student Achievement award.