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