If you’ve been on Twitter or watched the news this week you’ve probably heard about the caravan of asylum seekers traveling through Mexico into the United States. So often the talk is about whether they should be traveling at all and how the United States will respond when they arrive that it’s easy to forget about the countless men, women, and children traveling over this terrain from Central America to protect themselves.
On Tuesday, the caravan stopped at an unfinished bus terminal-turned-shelter in the state of Oaxaca. With nothing more than solar power, the goodwill of the townspeople, and resources from the local government, the weary travelers were able to find a safe place to sleep, eat warm food, and watch Pixar’s Coco. An inflatable screen was erected to play the animated film and give the travelers a moment of enjoyment leading up to the holiday the film itself celebrates: Día de Muertos. Twitter’s response to the screening has been positive with many commenting on the work that went in to showing the film despite the difficult circumstances.
Coco has received its wealth of praise since winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature this year. Interestingly, several Oaxacan artists took the time to celebrate the movie’s mythical “alebrijes” with a workshop. The city of Los Angeles honored it and it saw a re-release to theaters, but we often forget the impact it has on Latinx audiences, particularly in the light of U.S. response to immigrants and undocumented workers. It’s heartening that for one night the caravan could enjoy a movie put on by people who want to help.