It’s the story of her life.
The journey to find the Latino community in Philadelphia when Alba Martinez moved here in 1985.
“I would ask people and they would say… we don’t know where it is..there is no Latino community here and some people even said don’t go there,” said Martinez.
Back then there was no Google, so Martinez searched the phone book looking for anything that reminded her of home in Puerto Rico.
“The person on the other line said nina, which means girl, get on the bus right now and come to 5th and Lehigh and let’s talk and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know,” she recalled.
Martinez jumped on the 47 bus and that ride, she says, changed her life.
“What I saw was incredible, music, people waving their arms and talking loud like my family. That ride was my ride to happiness, so 35 years later I am doing a film about it,” said Martinez.
The film, La Guagua 47, is a tribute to the bus route and what that journey means to the Hispanic community in Philly.
The 47 starts in South Philly, passes through Old City and Chinatown and eventually over 10 miles, connects the south Latino community with the north Latino community, finishing its journey in the heart of El Barrio at 5th and Lehigh.
“This bus is almost like the a multi-cultural tour bus,” she said.
Martinez says there was a longing inside of her to do produce this film.
“I find that even though the Latino community has grown in many many ways, the demographics the talent, diversity, it’s still invisible,” she said.
Martinez wants the viewer to walk away changed, moved and excited about the future of the Latino community in Philly and worldwide.
“I want people to feel love, I want people to feel pride, I want people to feel desire to connect with that community and what that community has to offer a lot more than they felt before,” she said with a smile.
You can watch the six minute film “La Guagua 47” here