Many Roads to Here brings the voices of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers to a national conversation about migration and identity. With a myriad of reasons to leave their countries and multitude of ways to arrive in the U.S, Many Roads to Here tells the journeys of immigrants in their own voice. Their stories are our stories.
Since 2017, The Immigrant Story’s mission was simple: share stories to foster empathy and build a more inclusive community. After three years of conducting interviews, writing stories and putting on exhibitions about immigrants and their journeys to the United States, volunteers at the Portland, Oregon-based storytelling nonprofit, had an idea to help further their mission: take audio from interviews conducted for The Immigrant Story and create a podcast series that highlights the voices of individual immigrants. Each episode features one immigrant’s story of the journey that led them to the U.S. Many Roads to Here highlights the various criss-crossing paths they each have taken to America. While each episode of Many Roads to Here is unique, each story connects to recurring themes related to migration such as identity, trauma, loneliness and assimilation. These stories needed to be shared, to showcase what our country is made of, who we are and what makes us great.
Produced by a group of coast-to-coast volunteers, Many Roads to Here utilizes the power of storytelling as immigrants share their hopes, resilience, courage and love.
In Search of Blue Jean Dreams
Growing up poor in the mountains of Romania, Anna Giurgiev dreamed of a young man in strange blue pants. She didn’t know that this dream boy was her future husband, clad in denim, a fabric she had never seen. She didn’t know that their lives would be restricted by Romanian communism, or that he would try to defect without telling her. She didn’t know they would be separated for months and watched by police. She did not know that she would become a nurse and raise their children in the United States. All she knew, as a teenager in the mountains, was that this boy would be part of her future.
Many Roads to Here is a production of The Immigrant Story, a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, in collaboration with the Portland Radio Project. This episode was written by Caitlin Dwyer and Monica Salazar. Audio editing was done by Rick March. Original music was provided by Harmonia. The original interview was conducted in the Spring of 2019 by Caitlyn Malik. Our executive producer is Sankar Raman.
For more stories, please visit theimmigrantstory.org or listen at the Portland Radio Project at prp.fm.
There Is a Hopeful Tomorrow
Things were going well for Jenny Munezero in Portland, Oregon. She was working in a rewarding career and engaged to a man she adored. But as the two families moved forward with wedding plans, and worked out the details of her dowry, Jenny found herself struggling to keep up with the details of the Burundi customs. Two months after she was born there, war broke out. Her parents, fearful for their lives in the genocide, fled, leaving Jenny behind. Much of how she survived still remains a mystery. There was a lot she didn’t know about herself -- until she came to the U.S.
This episode was written by Degen Larkin and Fran Silverman. Audio editing was done by Rick March. The music was composed by Corey Larkin. Julianna Ribidoux conducted the original interview in 2019. Our executive producer is Sankar Raman.
When I’m Playing, I’m Just Heat
The first time Denzel Mendoza came out as undocumented he was on stage in front of a crowd of strangers. That night, he didn’t just play his trombone, he let out the raw emotions of doubts, fears and hardship that had followed him throughout his life, letting himself be truly seen, for the first time, at this random jazz house show in Portland. After that night, life began to move quickly. A few years later, Mendoza shared his undocumented identity publically once again, but this time the crowd wasn’t filled with strangers, it was filled with celebrities, and it was no house show. It was the Grammys.
This episode was edited by Caitlin Dwyer and Monica Salazar. Audio editing was done by Rick March and original music was provided by Denzel Mendoza. Our executive producer is Sankar Raman. This episode takes audio from an interview conducted in the winter of 2020 by Angelica Alarcon.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Inspiring and moving!
Listen to learn about the grit, resilience and determination that brought these immigrants to the US. Told in the immigrants’ voices, the inspiring stories are a testament to all that immigrants contribute to their new home.
Many Roads To Here
This is a beautifully told story of an immigrant working toward his dream. The story deals with obsticles and an unexpected triumph. It gives me hope for humanity and fills me with joy. Many Roads to Here reminds me of the best of This American Life. Great storytelling. I'm looking forward to the next episode.