It is one of the world’s oldest professions and a primitive lifestyle that few Americans are willing to take on. That is, the life of a shepherd. Which is why U.S. ranchers recruit herders from South America with experience working with sheep, cattle or llamas in the Andes and Patagonia regions.
They arrive to states like Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado under guest worker visas -- and just days later, having barely recovered from the jet lag (for many it's their first time flying), are sent to the desert and mountain ranges across the northwest.
They spend up to three months at a time with little or no human contact. They endure extreme weather conditions, dangerous wild life, and profound solitude. Many of them are treated with dignity; others become victims of physical and psychological abuse. There are those who return to their country with years of savings and ready to retire, and those who return with less than what they left with. And there are some who never return.
We want to shadow one of these shepherds who decided to come to the U.S. for a better opportunity for his family. The plan is to witness the farewell of his homeland and embark with him on the quest from Chile to North America. We want to tell a story of immigration -- a story of expectations and sacrifice. We want to take you on the search for their “American dream" in the beautiful, lonely open vistas of the West.
It's a project that we deeply believe in. We're ready and willing to sacrifice our time to spend long periods with the shepherd -- to immerse ourselves in the lifestyle, enduring long periods of 'roughing it' in the wilderness. But we need help financing our travel expenses to get there. And that's why we've come to Kickstarter in search of support.
We are grateful whether you give a donation or share our project with others on your Facebook wall or by good old-fashioned word of mouth!
- (30 days)