Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Pacheco, Seattle Latino Film Festival Founder
Written By: Erin Ginder-Shaw
Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Pacheco was not raised a giver. Not in the traditional sense. His path to professional and personal success cannot be attributed to any one person or event, but it does directly coincide with his deeply rooted philosophy on giving. “You need to love yourself before you can give and share,” he said. “You never lose when you give — you win all the time.” Pacheco’s five books were published in the U.S., Mexico, Spain and Canada. He is a poet, journalist, artistic promoter, and the Seattle Latino Film Festival founder.
Born in Havana, Pacheco immigrated in 2003 and moved to Seattle in 2006. His mother died when he was very young, and his relationship with his father was tumultuous.
“I don’t have a person,” he said, “I have my passion for teaching and helping people learn. I have filmmakers, writers, musicians; they are my people.” Pacheco knows that givers and artists do not simply appear, they are cultivated. “When I came to Seattle from Miami, my first project was to try to find a way to give something to the community in Seattle,” he recalled. Right away, he realized that Latin American culture was sorely underrepresented, so he developed the film festival. Through visual and written art, the Seattle Latino Film Festival is dedicated to doing outreach in schools, to educating students on immigration, and to helping young people understand that, “when you give, you receive.” “I work primarily with the students,” Pacheco said. “Mostly the Latino second generation. They want to represent their parents and grandparents. They speak two languages — they are the people that I feel are inspired.” And Pacheco is no stranger to inspiration. In addition to authoring five books, his poetry and prose have been published in magazines, anthologies, and newspapers in eight countries. Language and art are deeply rooted components of his creative and philanthropic makeup. His recipe for triumph? “You need to have your vision really clearly in your brain, follow it, and believe it, think ‘give’ instead of ‘receive.’ ” “I appreciate when people help other people,” Pacheco says. For him, giving is never ending, and the effort is all worth it. “I want to see this festival representing our culture,” he said. “We need to understand the Latin American culture as a very diverse place. We need to dream, and believe.”
The 31 HIPGivers recognized in 2015 are collectively altering the landscape for our country. They are pushing the envelope by asking for more – more consideration, more awareness, more compassion, more action, more giving.