October 2, 2019

Image of Maria Moreno speaking with a couple.

Maria Moreno, right, talks with fellow farmworkers
Image Courtesy of New Mexico PBS

Las Vegas, N.M – New Mexico Highlands University’s Donnelly Library and New Mexico PBS present a free documentary screening of the film “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno” Oct. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The screening takes place in the university’s McCaffrey Historic Trolley Building at 1120 San Francisco Ave. It will also include a conversation with the filmmaker, Laurie Coyle.

According to New Mexico PBS, in the early 1960s, before Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, there was Maria Moreno, an outspoken leader for farmworker rights.

“‘Adios Amor’ is an important documentary that shows the viewer an almost forgotten chapter of American history, and the role of women in the fight for labor rights and justice for agricultural workers,” said April Kent, Donnelly librarian and head of public services. “The partnership with New Mexico PBS is making it possible for Highlands to offer free film screenings and discussion programs to both the campus and greater Las Vegas communities.”

New Mexico PBS said Moreno was a migrant mother who sacrificed everything but her 12 children in the passionate pursuit of justice for farmworkers. She was elected to represent her fellow Mexican-American farmworkers, becoming the first female farmworker in America to be hired as a union organizer.

In addition to Mexican-American farmworkers, Moreno also represented Filipino, African- American and Oklahoma farmworkers more than 50 years ago.

Moreno is known for her gift for oratory, which was said to electrify audiences.

Laurie Coyle is an award-winning documentary producer, director and writer based in San Francisco. “Adios Amor” is based upon the discovery of lost photos of Maria Moreno taken more than 50 years ago.

Sponsors for “Adios Amor: The Search for Maria Moreno” include New Mexico PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Voces, among others.