56 Days $56 Dollars

Anyone reading my posts can tell that 56 Days $56 Dollars has nothing to do with me.

The title refers to young filmmakers and change-makers, Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple and Sean Leonard.

During university, they were curious how 1.1 billion people manage to live on $1 a day.  They decided to explore extreme poverty by going to Pena Blanca, Guatemala and living on $1 a day for 56 days.  They filmed their experiences and uploaded them to YouTube.

Watching the young men learn to grow radishes, manage a tiny, volatile budget and waking up covered in flea bites was only part of the story.  The rest was about the friends they made in Pena Blanca who taught them how to add fat to their diet, take out a microloan and bargain in the market.

When they returned home, 700,000 YouTube hits convinced them they had something worthwhile to share.  Their experiences became Living on One, a full-length documentary.  The film and the post-production tours are a great demonstration of how a small group of people can absolutely make a huge impact and help improve the lives of others.

Inspiring, not only because of their willingness to give up their American lives and literally walk 1,000 miles in the shoes of another, Living on One shows us how Gen Ys combine their passions, idealism and social media in new and constructive ways.  It is a lesson for those of us who ask our kids, “Do you watch anything useful on YouTube?

It is not enough to simply watch the film.  You must click through to see their social impact campaign and what has grown out of their efforts.

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