Award-Winning Documentary Ciclo

By Robin Loving Rowland

In 1956, 20-something brothers Arturo and Gustavo Martínez rode their used bikes from Mexico City, Mexico, to Toronto, Canada, with one change of homemade clothes and US$100 in their pockets. What would motivate such an outrageous act? Maybe some of the same drive, energy, and inquisitiveness that motivates Jóvenes Adelante’s scholarship students to seek professional success with a little help from their American and Canadian friends.

To Benefit Jóvenes Adelante
Mon, Mar 16, 4pm
Bellas Artes
Hernández Macías
152 3709
200 pesos/US$15

It is with this in mind that Jóvenes Adelante will present the acclaimed film Ciclo, which is the story of the filmmaker’s father and uncle told more than 50 years later as they retraced their more than 5,600 kilometers, originally accomplished in 82 days. More than a film, this is a journey through the cycle of life, including the freedom of youth, immigration, integration, family, and love, the many facets of the lives of us all. “Do what you can do. It’s all you can do,” says one of the brothers in the film, which is great advice for Jóvenes Adelante university scholarship students as well as for the rest of us. He knew firsthand the plight of students yearning to learn but lacking funds, for he and his brother were raised with four other siblings by their mom, a housewife, their dad having died when they were young.

“This is a story about interdependence in all the seasons of our lives,” said Gustavo Martínez, one of the brothers who became favorite sons of three countries, as well as soul brothers. “We were inspired by someone in a Lions or Rotary Club in Mexico, worked hard to learn another language, and found our ways to university educations and successful careers,” continued Gustavo. That, again, sounds a lot like the story of Jóvenes Adelante university scholarship students. The making of the film took place when the brothers were 75 and 78. Arturo’s daughter, the filmmaker Andrea Martínez Crowther, documented important aspects of the cycle of life and unavoidable change due to the passage of time. Singer Amanda Martínez, Gustavo’s daughter, accompanies the film, which is in English and Spanish, with a hauntingly beautiful song.

“This film is full of beautiful imagery and scenery as well as a great sense of humor,” said Joy Levine of Amistad Canada, which channels Canadian donations to various San Miguel charities such as Jóvenes Adelante for tax deductibility. “This family’s story reminds us to seize the day, and that much is gained over a lifetime,” she continued. The film takes the viewer using archival and new footage through places including San Antonio, St Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Niagara Falls, and Toronto. The Consul General of Mexico in Toronto gave Gustavo the annual prize for diplomatic relations last year as a result of the film’s success.

Host sponsorships are available for 1,000 pesos or US$75. They permit two people to receive reserved seating and be listed in the program. Hosts currently include Colleen and Norman Besman, Rod and Glenna Copeland, Caren and David Cross, William Dalsimer, Lee Daneker and Moi Fulton, Patric and Diana Ellsworth, Pat and Bill Harding, Tom and Dianne Hart, John Hunger and Susan Barker, Carol Jackson and Art Bone, Sue and Bob Leonard, Joy Levine, Chris and Rex McCaskill, Robert and Carol Merchasin, Mi Vida Restaurant, Charles and Myra Novogrodsky, Marjorie and Mike Pope, Jim and Karen Quinn, Laura and Woody Rea, Val Romaine, Judith Rosenthal and George Hedgepeth, Jeannie and John Schnakenberg, John and Carolyn Simsarian, Trish and Dick Snyder, Marshall Stein and Denise Grohs, Maxine Stone and Robert Hager, David and Sandra Walton-Bell, Margot Young, and others. For more information about host sponsorships, contact Carol Jackson at or 152 2067, or Maxine Stone at

The filmmaker is a Mexican-Canadian with a master’s degree in film from the University of Southern California. Her work has won awards at various international film festivals.

Jóvenes Adelante scholarships help the best university students afford the best education. Additional services to students include mentors, English training, and professional skills development to help these students graduate prepared for professional success. The graduation rate is around 85 percent and more than 75 percent of graduates are now employed. For information about volunteering, which can be done part-time and virtually, contact Jan Marshall at Jóvenes sponsorships for five years of college are US$7,000, 82,500 pesos, or CAN$7,600. This covers an outstanding student’s scholarship, computer, and support services. Full or partial sponsorships are available. Payments may be spread over five years. For more information, contact Pat Harding at

Amistad Canada, a registered Canadian Charity, provides tax donations to Canadian donors of Jóvenes Adelante and several other nonprofits in San Miguel. For more information, see Jó and


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