Faces of Immigration

Face of Immigration 37 of 40

Silvia Perez, 41, and her son Gabiel Alvarez Perez, come from Colonia Monte de Olivo, Department of Chimaltenango in Guatemala. Silvia leaves behind her husband and two children, whom are over age. Silvia traveled with her son alone, from Guatemala to the Federal District in Mexico, there she joined a group or a “caravan” that was from Guatemala. “Traveling alone is very hard, but when you join a little group, we encourage ourselves to continue or to ask ‘Can you tell me where we are, or what is this city called?”, she said explaining the advantage of traveling in a group.

The trip through Mexico lasted 15 days since she left her country. “The trip was very difficult because my son did not eat for 8 days, I brought him here with just water and pedialyte,” she said about her son Angels health. “Since one is going thru this situation, our stomach is empty, your body doesn’t accept anything, you just don’t feel like eating,” she said

Silvia did not have a permanent job in her country of origin, so it was difficult to send her son to school. “This year he was supposed to be in seventh grade but i when i went to register him, it was going to be very expensive. The uniform was $1,000 quetzales, the books the same $1,000 quetzales, registration, monthly payments, everything. Like I said, you can’t do it. There is money for food, but for school there isn’t,” she said about the difficulties of sending a child to school in her country.  Typically, you see children of the ages, ranging from 12 through 14 in sixth grade, because the school system is not that great. Much of the lack of job opportunities is due to the bad education system.

Silvia crossed the border and was apprehended by Border Patrol.  They were in detention for two days and one night. Luckily, she was not separated from her son during her apprehension at the detention center. She is traveling to Fresno, California, where her sister in law is waiting for her.  

 

Silvia Perez, 41, y su hijo Gabiel Alvarez Perez, son de la Colonia Monte de Olivo, Departamento de Chimaltenango en Guatemala.  Silvia deja atrás en su país de origen a su esposo y sus dos hijos que ya son mayor de edad. Silvia viajó sola con su hijo de Guatemala al Distrito Federal y allí se unió a un grupo o a la “caravana” que venía de Guatemala. “Viajar solo cuesta bastante, pero ya sigue uno un grupito, y unos a otros se animan o nos da valor para preguntar ‘¿Mire dónde vamos, o aquí que ciudad es?’, dijo ella explicando la ventaja de viajar en grupo.

El viaje por México duró 15 días desde que salió de su país de origen.  “Fue bastante difícil el viaje porque mi hijo no comió por 8 días, solo con agua y suero lo traje hasta aquí,” dijo ella sobre la salud de su hijo Ángel. “Como uno está pasando por esta situación, pues trae uno el estómago vacío, no pasa nada, no llama la atención comer,” dijo ella.

Silvia no tuvo un trabajo fijo en su país de origen, y era difícil para ella mandar a su hijo a la escuela. “Este año le tocaba primer básico, pero fui agregarlo al colegio, pero salía bien caro. El uniforme $1,000 quetzales, libros igual $1,000 quetzales, inscripción, mensualidades, todo. Como le digo, no se puede. Para la comida hay, pero para los estudios ya no hay,” dijo ella hablando sobre las dificultades de mandar a un hijo a la escuela en su país.  Es típico ver a niños de las edades de 12 a 14 años en el sexto año, porque el sistema escolar no es muy bueno. Muchos de los problemas de desempleo es a causa del sistema de educación deficiente.

Silvia cruzó la frontera con su hijo y fue detenida por la patrulla fronteriza.  Estuvo en detención por dos días y una noche. Por suerte no fue separada de su hijo durante su estancia en el centro de detención. Ella se dirige a Fresno, California, donde la espera su cuñada.

 

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

 

Go Here To Donate To Our Cause! https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=909fac

Faces of Immigration

Faces of Migration day 36 of 40

Ivan Gutierrez, 44, and his son Angel Ivan Gutierrez Mejia, 9,  are from the Department of Cortes in Honduras.  He has left behind 3 children, a son of 25 years of age and two daughters.  Unfortunately due to the economy and the lack of money, he was unable to bring them with him.

In his country of origin, Ivan worked in the welding industry, building metal structures and metal frames and mainly in construction.  “There is no jobs for people who are 25 or 30 years old, there is no longer work for us,” he said about his economic situation. Apart from the low economy is the high delinquency and the crime. “They want to force our children into that, they take them to make them just like them, for the children it’s an obligation,” he said explaining his decision in leaving his country with his son Angel.

Ivan came on his own with no help of a guide or a “coyote”.  He, along with friends from his home town, decided to leave with a group of people, to reach the border. “It has been 25 days until now, that I have been in Mexico,” he said. A few people that were part of his group decided to stay behind and did not continue their journey with Ivan and the rest of the group.  Later, they found out, that they had been kidnapped at the border in Laredo and United States. “They were kidnapped for four days,” he said.

Ivan’s wish is to arrive at North Carolina with his family and friends. “I want to have hope for the future of our children, since we don’t have that in our country,” he said.

 

Iván Gutiérrez, 44, y su hijo Ángel Iván Gutiérrez Mejía, 9, son del Departamento de Cortés en Honduras. Él ha dejado atrás a sus 3 hijos, uno de 25 años y a dos hijas.  Desafortunadamente a causa de la economía y falta de dinero, no pudo traerlos con él.

En su país de origen, Iván trabajaba en la industria de la soldadura, haciendo estructuras metálicas, y armazones de metal, que es parte de la construcción. “Para personas de 25 o 30 años no hay trabajos, ya para uno no hay trabajo,” dijo él hablando de su estado económico.  A parte de la baja economía, está la alta delincuencia y la violencia. “Quieren meter a los niños a fuerzas a eso, y se los llevan para hacerlos como ellos, es obligatorio para los niños,” dijo él explicando su decisión de salir de su país con su hijo Ángel.

Iván se vino solo y sin ayuda de un guía o un “coyote”.  El juntamente con unas personas conocidas de su pueblo decidieron salir con un grupo de gente hasta llegar a la frontera.  “Ya son 25 días hasta hoy que estoy en México,” dijo él. Algunas personas que venían en su grupo se quedaron atrás, y no siguieron su viaje con Iván y los demás.  Después se dieron cuenta que habían sido secuestrados en la frontera de Laredo y Estado Unidos. “Estuvieron secuestrados cuatro días,” dijo él.

Iván desea llegar a Carolina del Norte con sus familiares y sus amigos. “Yo quiero una esperanza para el futuro de nuestros hijos, ya que en nuestro país no se puede,” dijo él.

 

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

Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration day 26 of 40

Darwin Jose Baharona, 32,  from San Raphael in the department of Lempira in Honduras came to the United States with his daughter Briana, 4, and were given hospitality at Holy Cross Retreat Center in Las Cruces, via the Project Oak Tree program which assists migrants when they are released from immigration detention.

Back in Honduras, Darwin worked in agriculture, earning about 120 lempiras ($5) per day. Paying for the costs of going to school as well as all of the costs of living was difficult on such a small budget.  Now separated from his ex-wife, he takes care of his daughter on his own, and the difficult choice to come to the United States was made out of necessity. His parents, who he lived with, stayed back in Honduras, and he hopes to assist them with the cost of life if given the chance to work in the United States.

In addition to economic difficulties, Darwin said that crime is unfortunately a part of daily life. Robberies and muggings are common, and there is no chance for justice. “If someone goes to the police, they don’t do anything,” he said, describing being mugged in the past.

Darwin and his daughter came through Mexico with the help of a Coyote. Many Central Americans decide to do this to avoid putting themselves at risk of kidnapping and extortion, along their route. This service, however, is not cheap. Darwin paid about $6000 for him and his daughter’s trip.

After leaving Holy Cross Retreat Center, he would head to Houston, Texas by bus, where a friend of his will receive him. He hopes to have the chance to work and for his daughter to go to school. However, the reality is not so simple, he must first visit the ICE field office where he hopes they will take off his ankle monitor, “They say that with luck, they take it off quickly.”

 

Darwin Jose Baharona, 32, es de San Rafael, Departamento de Lempira en Honduras y llego a Estados Unidos con su hija Briana, 4, y les dieron hospitalidad en el Centro de Retiro de Santa Cruz en Las Cruces, por medio del Programa de Project Oak Tree, la cual asiste a migrantes cuando la detención migratoria los pone en libertad.

En su país de Origen, Darwin trabaja en la agricultura, ganando 120 lempiras ($5) por día. Pagando los costos de educación al igual el costo de vida, era difícil en un presupuesto reducido.  Ahora separado de ex-esposa, él cuida de su hija el solo, and la decisión difícil de venir a los Estados Unidos, fue por necesidad. Sus padres, con los cuales él vivía, se han quedado en Honduras,  y espera ayudarlos con los costos de vida, si le dan la oportunidad de trabajar en los Estado Unidos.

En adición a las dificultades económicas, Darwin dijo que el crimen es, desafortunadamente parte de la vida diaria. Robos y asaltos son muy comunes, y no hay oportunidad de justicia. “Si alguien va a la policía, no hacen nada,” dijo el, describiendo como había sido asaltado en el pasado.

Darwin y su hija pasaron por México con ayuda de un Coyote. Muchos Centroamericanos deciden hacer esto para evitar ponerse en riesgo de secuestro y extorsión, durante su viaje. Este servicio, sin embargo, no es barato. Darwin Pago más o menos $6,000.00 por el viaje de el y su hija.

Después de dejar en Centro de Retiro de Santa Cruz, se dirige a Houston, Texas por autobús, donde un amigo lo esta esperando. Espera tener la oportunidad de trabajar y de que su hija pueda ir a la escuela. Sin embargo la realidad no es tan fácil, primero tiene que presentarse en las oficinas de ICE donde espera que le puedan quitar la pulsera de tobillo. “Dicen que con suerte, te lo quitan pronto,”

 

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 Rje