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Mexican Movie Star Eduardo Verįstegui Goes to Texas Prison

Human Rights Education and Relief Organization (HERO) launches new prison ministry in conjunction with Manto de Guadalupe and Discipleship Unlimited

Contact: Joe Giganti, 703-928-9695

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Human rights, Education and Relief Organization (HERO) in partnership with Manto de Guadalupe is proud to announce the launching of its newest program: Jose's Second Chance.  The central character of the Toronto Film Festival's People's Choice Award winner Bella is Jose, a man given a second chance at life after a tragic accident that resulted in his imprisonment.  Based on this central character's story, Jose's Second Chance offers those in prison an outlet for healing and an inspiration to start over.

Eduardo Verástegui, the film's Mexican star who portrayed Jose, will be at Gatesville Prison today in Gatesville, TX, to share his personal story of how acting in Bella gave him a second chance at life and can be a sign of hope to them as well.  "During my preparation for this role, I realized I was not the man that I had been raised to be and that I wanted to be," shared Verástegui.  In addition to his acting, Verástegui is a producer and active humanitarian. "Portraying Jose solidified in my mind that I too could change my ways and live a life that I could be proud of.  And this wasn't just a question of how I led my private life, but how I conduct my public life as well.  I've dedicated my acting career to only portraying men that are heroes--not like Batman or Superman--but real heroes.  Men who are hard-working, men of faith, men who are faithful to their wives...men like my father, and to stop perpetuating stereotypes often associated with Latino actors.  The next act of our lives has not been written.  We can write those chapters by the decisions we make and I want to share this truth with those I will meet today."

Jason Jones, founder of HERO and a producer of Bella will join Verástegui at today's event.  Inmates at Gatesville Prison have previously screened the film.  "We are grateful for the impact that Bella has made on people.  There are many stories of lives saved through this film's theatrical release, as well as through the Bella HERO and Campus HERO programs, so we are excited to share it in this new setting where it can be a real instrument of healing," stated Jones.  "At the core of all that HERO does is a recognition and respect for the intrinsic dignity of every human person.  Sadly, that simple truth is often forgotten when it comes to those imprisoned--by the public and the inmates themselves.  It is our hope that this effort will help inspire the inmates to valiantly lay claim to their second chance, as Jose did in Bella."

Verástegui and Jones will be appearing at the invitation of Discipleship Unlimited, a Christian prison ministry that seeks to bring healing of body, mind and soul to inmates.

HERO is a "whole-life" multi-platform non-profit organization, pursuing 501(c)3 status, dedicated to defending the dignity of the human person while working towards a culture of life, love and beauty.