When you meet Paola Mendoza, the first thing you’ll notice is the palpable fire and determination in her eyes. This accomplished filmmaker and writer has made it her mission to deal with social ills through art. A true auteur, Paola’s voice is raw and unconcealed in her films, (Autumn’s Eyes, Entre Nos), and her debut novel, (Los que no se quedan – The Ones Who don’t Stay), where she explores the immigrant experience and the stories of the disenfranchised with empathy and honesty. Her affinity for these stories stems from her own quest for the American Dream and her dedication to these causes is revealed in her own humanitarian efforts: volunteering at refugee camps, working with #WelcomeUS, and recently exposing the on-going Honduras Crisis, where she raised her voice in social media and contributed elbow grease volunteering at the refugee camps for immigrant children here on our own soil. I had a chance to talk with this inspiring woman about her childhood with a single mother, the importance of having female allies rather than enemies, motherhood, and the rewards of striking up a conversation with your neighborhood dope dealer.
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