Gaspar Laynez Lopez, 53, and his son, Gaspar Laynez Ijom, 17, from Chajul in the Quiché Department of Guatemala, came to the border through Mexico on a long journey The two speak Ixil, an indigenous language of Guatemala, and he leaves behind his wife and four other kids. Their journey to reach the United States was long and hard.

“There are thieves that steal the things we grow,” he said of his difficulties farming back home. He would farm on piece of land of 11 cuadras in size, which he said did not make ends meet for his family.“It’s hard leaving your home, maybe even sad, the family cries, but there is no other way because we don’t have money,” he said.

After leaving Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces, he and his son would go to Miami where a friend awaits him.


Gaspar Laynez Lopez, 53, y su hijo, Gaspar Laynez Ijom, 17, de Chajul en el Departamento de Quiché en Guatemala, llegaron a la frontera por México en un largo viaje. Los dos hablan Ixil, un lenguaje indígena de Guatemala, y deja atrás a su esposa y a cuatro hijos.

Su viaje para llegar a los Estado Unidos fue largo y difícil. “Hay gente que roba tu cosecha”, dijo él, hablando de las dificultades para cultivar en su país. El cultivaba en un terreno de 11 cuadras en tamaño, que no alcanzaba para mantener a su familia, dijo el.

“Es difícil dejar tu pais, quizas hasta triste, la familia llora, pero no hay otra alternativa porque no hay dinero,” dijo el.

Después de dejar la Catedral del Inmaculado Corazon de Maria en Las Cruces, su hijo y el se dirigen a Miami donde los espera un amigo.



The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States.

By Paul Ratje

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