Clinica de Migrantes: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness screening

Students watch the Clinica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in the Student Union Theater on April 13, 2017. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

On Thursday evening in the Student Union Theater, the HBO Documentary “Clinica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” was screened, hosted by UConn’s Partners in Health Engage club. The documentary follows the health clinic Puentes de Salud, one of the only clinics in America that provides healthcare to undocumented immigrants.

The film explores the struggles that many immigrants face with healthcare. Since many do not have health insurance, it is difficult to afford proper healthcare and many go without. This is why the doctors of Puente created the clinic. Although many people are against it, the doctors in the film say that it is an ethical and moral obligation to help these people.

The film shows various patients being treated for emergencies and other services such as prenatal care. They also help with more than just healthcare, as they have a deep sense of concern and care for the people they treat. In one scene, the doctors were shown helping a woman with cancer book a flight back to her home country of Honduras so she could be reunited with her family for her final days. The doctors brought her to the airport, showing their dedication.

Located in Philadelphia, Puentes treats around 10,000 undocumented immigrants every year, with over 10 million waiting to be seen. The clinic started off extremely small but has grown tremendously. The documentary shows the clinic expanding even further, as they move to a new, larger and more modern space donated by University of Pennsylvania.

The film highlights the struggles immigrants face here in America. Many sacrifice everything, leaving their families and homes to create a better life.

The hosts, Partners in Health Engage, is a club that focuses on education, advocacy, policy change and fundraising for public health causes. There has been a chapter here at UConn since 2011 and there are more than 80 other chapters across America.


“Our mission is to spread the idea that health is a basic human right,” said Margaux Amara, sixth-semester molecular cell biology major and president of PIH Engage. She explained that the club believes everyone or their financial standing, deserves the same level of healthcare, no matter where they live. She chose to screen “Clinica de Migrantes” because it shows “exactly what we preach.”


Melissa Scrivani is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.