The Trek Project is a multi-faceted, multi-media project that examines the ways that people see themselves in a global context. The project was created follows 10 high schools students on the same community service trip to Nicaragua that I completed when I as 17 and documents the journey that occurs when people from the US travel abroad as well as all of the complicated dynamics that surround how people claim global citizenship. The piece takes an analytic lens to the aide tourism industry and the US-relationship with Latin America. The piece involved the creation and implementation of Mapping Workshops in the Spring of 2009 both in public events and also privately with the students that I traveled with. These workshops examined how people see themselves in a global context. Additionally, I have been working on a timeline that contextualizes the concepts that come up in the movie and examines the colonization and re-colonization of Latin America. The project culminates in the creation of El Trompo, the documentary that takes the viewer on a journey from New York City and Philadelphia to Gualacatu, Nicaragua. El Trompo seeks to complicate our notions of macro and micro global systems of oppression and examine both the good and bad ways that people experience aide tourism. Additionally, I have created curriculum for various age groups in both in/out of classroom settings to further engage with the topics brought up in the movie.  


The Trailer:


You can view the entire documentary (25 mins):

Helyx is available to screen the documentary as an interactive mapping workshop.  The following blog serves as documentation of the project process, it was kept from 2009-2010 during the peak of pre-production, production and post production.  

Entries in community (1)

Mapping Workshop!

You. Me. World.

A workshop on local and global citizenship

On June 24th from 7:30pm-9:30pm Helyx Chase of HH productions will be hosting a dialog and workshop to support The Trek Project. The Trek Project is a project that will follow students from buildOn ( as they travel to Nicaragua to construct a school. The workshop will be a chance to talk about the ways that we see ourselves within the world and also to participate in the mapping project where we will examine the ways that we see ourselves in a global setting.

The Trek Project ( is a multi-faceted, multi-media exploration of global identity, and citizenship. Filmmaker Helyx Chase ( is embarking on this project to create a documentary about how we see ourselves within a global and local community; and how we are accountable/responsible within both of those communities. They will be traveling to Nicaragua this summer and following a group of youth from buildOn after school clubs in the Philadelphia and New York City areas as they build a school in a remote rural village. Ultimately, the maps and discussion generated at the workshop will be included in The Trek Project. While the event is free we are asking for donations to sponsor the trip to Nicaragua and supplies needed while in the country.

Chase is a queer, non-gender identified video maker, social justice activist and youth worker. They are 19; they were born in Philadelphia and raised just west of the city in Upper Darby. Chase, originally Hannah Horwitz, graduated from Upper Darby High School in 2007, with 2 scholarships for media production. They started seriously pursuing video when they were 15 and participated in the Scribe Video Center’s Documentary History Project for Youth in 2005. After the project was completed in January of 2006 they were an active member of Upper Darby High School’s broadcast journalism program.

They have produced multiple short pieces both independently and for classes, the most recent of which is a 25-minute documentary about the ways that women are portrayed in the media and how those images effect girls while they are growing up, it is called "Impacting Girls Influencing Lives". They produce video pieces that promote social justice, queer visibility, youth empowerment, and independent artists. They are heavily influenced by the work of Marlon Riggs and they possess a strong desire to create dialog about issues that are often not covered by the mainstream.

Helyx Chase blogs at, and can be reached at

7:30 pm at the A-Space on 47th and Baltimore, Philadelphia PA