Arturo Hernandez Sametier

My life has been divided between a dedication to work with troubled, marginalized youth and a passion for the arts. I have been blessed with the opportunity to build and principal schools in difficult places, work intimately as a therapist, while having a second life as a musician and storyteller. In the latter role, I have spoken at over one-hundred colleges and conferences.

My work has often been grass-roots, building or running schools for communities willing to try anything to save their kids, and this has led to experiments and adventures. Of my current books, The Good Lessons recounts the hard-won wisdom gained when both an Indian reservation and a neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles allowed me to use radical education strategies to win back their children. Luis Rodriguez, author of Always Running: gang days in L.A. wrote that an earlier version of this book was "...a necessary read for anyone serious about personal transformation and change in our communities..."

Shelter: Notes from a Detained Migrant Children's Facility is the first book written from inside U.S. immigration shelters for  unaccompanied minors.  These are the unforgettable journeys of individual children and a remarkable look at the daily workings of a large shelter, including the politics of "kids in cages" and release to family.

The Music of Jimmy Ojotriste is a Latin music novel that has been compared in reviews to the stories of Gabriel Marquez and Isabel Allende. The book was a labor of years and a love letter to family, faith, flamenco, mariachi and brujeria in Los Angeles.