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 HH (4)

Rough Cut

SO! Although last week was crazy and hectic in terms of editing it all paid off because last Saturday I got to go to NYC for the day and attend the last post-trek meeting with most of the Trek team participants. The movie seemed to go over well with them, and I am excited about finishing it! Anyway, I am using the next week as a time to get feedback on the documentary. If you would like to watch it and provide feedback please let me know and I will give you the password.


Home Stretch = January

to do list for january:

FINISH The Trek Project

this means completing the editing of El Trompo
creating the map/timeline of Latin America
compiling the maps from the mapping workshops
finishing a documentation notebook of the entire project from October 2008 - January 2010

There is a second rough cut of El Trompo on vimeo-

the password is the same as last time, if you want it email me at

ALSO I am proud to present the *almost* final trailer for El Trompo,
check it out:

I create this project to tell a story. A story that can be compared to the millions of other similar stories, but also one that is completely rooted in the unique history of one specific community. This story is, I hope, a piece that pays dignity and respect to it's subjects in a way that continually challenges and pushes my reality. I am not a voice of authority or vast knowledge. I speak as an observer, an outsider. There is no quick fix to the problems that I present. However, my hope is that with more awareness we can re-think the way we see ourselves, and within that, how we see others.

3rd and (almost) Final Cut

Last sunday I finished the last major rough cut of El Trompo, it is posted on vimeo:

or below:

3rd Cut El Trompo Best Quality from Helyx Chase on Vimeo.

the password is the same as the last two times and if you don't know it just email me ( or Facebook me and I will let you know.

Also as far as the rest of the project is concerned I am posting the rough version of the timeline below:

As you can probably guess production has been pushed back a little farther than I originally intended. However, I promise it will be worth it!