JERONIMO

[The Untold Tales of Koreans in Cuba]

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About the documentary

Born in 1926 to Korean indentured servant parents in Cuba, Jeronimo joins the Cuban revolution and crosses paths with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, before turning to his Korean roots and identity.

View screening information here.

Timeline

Click through the images!

1905

Immigration to Mexico

1033 Koreans board a cargo ship to Mexico after being told it flows with milk and honey, and that 4 years of labor would guarantee enough funds to return to Korea and live comfortably. *A 2 year old Cheontaek Lim boards the ship with his single mother.

1905 - 1909

Henequen Farms

Koreans arrive in Mexico who are sold to 22 landlords who place them in their Henequen farms. Then begins 4 years of enslavement with little or no basic rights.

1910

Japanese Colonization

Korea is officially annexed by Japan and disappears off the map. Koreans living in Mexico lose their nationality and refuse to be registered as Japanese nationals as demanded by the Japanese embassy.

1921

Cuban Immigration

A group of 300 or so Koreans immigrate to Cuba to seek better life, only to find the conditions just as lamentable. Most find their home at henequen farms in Cuba. *Cheontaek Lim is included in this group.

1926

Jeronimo Lim's Birth

Jeronimo Lim is born as the first son of Cheontaek Lim.

1935 - 42

Independence Movement

Cheontaek Lim raises funds among Koreans in Cuba to support Kim Goo at the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai and Korea's independence movement against Japanese occupation.

1946

Jeronimo's Education

Jeronimo attends Havana University - the first Korean to be admitted into college. He studies law and one of his classmates was Fidel Castro.

1949 - 59

Jeronimo and Politics

Jeronimo joins and actively leads the Orthodox party that later became part of the Guerrilla movement that toppled the Batista's corrupted government.

1960

Jeronimo's Career

Jeronimo serves the new Cuban government for nearly 3 decades, and at one point, serves as Director of the Department of the Food Industry while Che is the Minister.

2001 - 2005

Korean Commemoration

Jeronimo leads an effort to erect the Korean Monuments in Manati and Matanzas to commemorate the 80th year of Korean immigration to Cuba.

2006

Jeronimo's Death

Jeronimo suddenly passes away during what was to be a minor surgery.

2015

Joseph's Cuba Trip

Joseph travels to Cuba, and coincidentally meets Patricia Lim, Jeronimo's daughter, and is fascinated by the story of Jeronimo.

2016

Documentary Production

Joseph returns to Cuba with crew members Jennifer, Grace, Kihoon, Jaesun, and William, meeting 100 Koreans and interviewing 35 people in search of Jeronimo's legacy and the history of Koreans in Cuba.

2017

Documentary Launch

The feature-length documentary, Jeronimo, is expected to be released.

"Jeronimo is a very important project for our lifetime, remembering unsung heroes who dedicated their lives to liberation."

- Korean Buddhist monk, Bub-ryun (법륜스님)

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