Angel Velsain, 33, Kelvin, 14,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 18 of 40

Angel Velsain, 33, and his son Kelvin, 14, are from Union Cantinil in the Huehuetenango Department of Guatemala. Angel worked in construction in Guatemala, where he earned a pittance that did not allow him to provide for his family. “It was never enough to support my family,” he said, “I have four kids.”

 

14 year-old Kelvin, like many of the other kids coming from Central America, wants the chance to go to school in the United States. “There were about 40 of us,” he said about the class size at his school, noting that there were very few teachers available for a large number of students.

 

Angel would like to have his wife and other kids come to the United States if he could. “It is hard to leave the family,” he said, “It is a little sad, but it is necessary.”

 

Arriving to the US-Mexico border was no easy task. Angel paid a coyote 20,000 Quetzales to get him and Kelvin to the border. The trip was long and hard. “We only ate a little bit of food because we were traveling in buses that were direct trips, so we didn’t stop at any stores to buy something to eat.”

 

Angel wouldn’t have taken this trip for no reason. He, like all the other Guatemalans, is trying the best he can to give his loved ones a safer life. “More than anything, you have to think about your family,” he said.

 

After staying a night in Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces, the two would head to Denver where his uncle would receive him. He hopes to have the chance to work in construction in Denver, however, he is open to anything.

 

Angel Velsain, 33, y su hijo Kelvin, 14, son de la Unión Cantinil en el Departamento de Huehuetenango en Guatemala.  Ángel trabaja en la construcción en Guatemala, donde ganaba una miseria que no suplía para mantener a su familia. “Nunca tenia lo suficiente para mantener a mi familia,” dijo el, “Tengo cuatro hijos.”

Kelvin de 14 años, como muchos otros niños viniendo de Centro América, quiere una oportunidad para ir a la escuela en los Estados Unidos. “Éramos más o menos 40 todos juntos,” dice el, sobre el tamaño de la clase en su escuela, comentando que no había suficientes maestras para la gran cantidad de estudiantes.

A Ángel le gustaría que su esposa y sus hijos vinieran a Estados Unidos si se pudiera. “Es difícil dejar la familia,” dijo el, “Es poco triste, pero es necesario.”

La llegada a la frontera de México con Estados Unidos no fue tarea fácil.  Ángel le pago a un coyote 20,000 Quetzales para traer a Kelvin y a él, a la frontera.  El viaje fue largo y difícil. “Comíamos poco porque viajamos en autobús que eran directos, y no podíamos llegar a una tienda a comprar algo de comer.

Ángel no hubiera hecho este viaje sin razón. El, como todos los guatemaltecos, intentan todo lo posible por darles a sus seres queridas una vida segura. “Más que todo, tienes que pensar en tu familia.” Dijo él.

Después de haber pasado una noche en la Catedral del Inmaculado Corazón de María en Las Cruces, los dos se dirigen a Denver donde su tío los espera. Espera la oportunidad de trabajar en construcción en Denver, sin embargo, está dispuesto a trabajar en lo que sea.

 

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

Ana Candelaria, 30, Alba Lucy, 9,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 17 of 40

Ana Candelaria, 30, and her daughter Alba Lucy, 9, are from a town called Chimay in the El Peten Department of Guatemala.  

“We came here because of the crime and poverty,” she said, “There is no work there because we can’t grow corn and beans.”

She is going to be with her husband in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She speaks Q’eqchi’ with her daughter.

Like many other Guatemalans coming to the United States, they hope to return to their home country one day. “Maybe we will return someday,” she said.

 

Ana Candelaria, 30, y su hija Alba Lucy, 9, son de un pueblo que se llama Chimay en el Departamento de El Peten en Guatemala.

“Venimos aquí por el crimen y la pobreza,” dijo ella, “No hay trabajo allá porque no podemos cultivar elote y frijol,” Ella va con su esposo que está en Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ella habla Q’eqchi’ con su hija. Como muchos otros Guatemaltecos, venir a los Estado Unidos, esperan regresar a su país de origen algún día. “Quizas algun dia regresaremos,” dijo ella.

 

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

Roberto Bacoc, 29, Suleida Anayi Ba-Yaxcal, 7,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 16 of 40

Roberto Bacoc, 29, and his daughter Suleida Anayi Ba-Yaxcal, 7, are from San Pedro Carcha, Alta Vera Paz department of Guatemala.

Roberto hopes of being able to work and provide for his family. In his hometown and with his family, he speaks Q’eqchi’.  He only was able to attend school until the 6th grade.

They are going to Houston. His wife is still in Guatemala with his two other kids.

 

Roberto Bacoc, 29, y su hija Suleida Anayi Ba-Yaxcal, 7, son de San Pedro Carcha, Departamento de Alta Vera Paz en Guatemala

Roberto tiene esperanza de poder trabajar y sostener a su familia. En su pueblo con su familia, el habla Q’eqchi’. Solo pudo estudiar hasta la primaria

Ellos van a Houston. Su esposa está en Guatemala con sus otros dos hijos.

 

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

Elios Rosaldo Quina - Lopez, 35, Erdwin Oswaldo Quina Lopez,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 15 of 40

Elios Rosaldo Quina-Lopez, 35, and his son Erdwin Oswaldo Quina Lopez, 16, from the Aldea Hacienda Vieja in the San Jose Poaquil Muincipality of the Chimaltenango Department in Guatemala.

“Where I am from, you could say that it’s a small town where there are not many resources,” he said. With poor infrastructure, low prices of crops and high unemployment, many in Guatemala are making the choice to immigrate to the United States.

“What can you do with 40 Quetzales?” he asked, describing the typical daily wage of about $5 in his town, “What can you do with it? Nothing.”

“We made it through, but we suffered, we suffered a lot,” he said of his journey through Mexico and crossing the border.

“I once saw on TV in Guatemala, that was talking about how the United States loves animals,” he said, “Imagine how the Americans will treat humans if they love dogs so much,” he said about the TV program he watched. However, upon entering immigration custody, he felt the contrary. “They treated us as if we were dogs.”

“In part they are right, those in immigration,” he said. “They are bored of seeing so many people, here comes one, and here comes another.”

“But they dont know what the point is,” he said about people who oppose immigration, “Everyone has their objectives, everyone wants to better themselves.”

His son Erdwin hopes to take advantage of being in the United States to go to school. “How nice would it be to learn English,” said Erdwin, who only finished the sixth grade, “The profession I would have chosen would have been accountant,” he said. Like many other teenagers with a lot of potential, he has lost out because of the financial status of his family.

In Guatemala, many kids like Erdwin end up dropping out of school after the sixth grade. “He couldn’t study because there wasn’t enough money,” Elios said.

Leaving his wife and two other kids in Guatemala was not easy. “Where I am going, I won’t have my wife,” he said, “I will miss my family a lot.” Elios hopes to go back after he has saved enough money, in four or five years.

After staying a night in Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces, he and his son would go to Colorado to a friend.

 

Elios Rosaldo Quina-López, 35, y su hijo Erdwin Oswaldo Quina López, 16, de la Aldea Hacienda Vieja en San Jose Poaquil, Municipio del Departamento de Chimaltenango en Guatemala.

“De donde yo soy, podría decir que es un pueblo chico donde no hay muchos recursos,” dijo él.  Con una infraestructura baja, precios bajos de las cosechas, y un alto desempleo, muchos en Guatemala están decidiendo inmigrar a los Estado Unidos

“Que puedes hacer con 40 Quetzales?” el pregunto, describiendo el saldo típico en su pueblo, de más o menos $5 diarios, “Que puedes hacer con eso? Nada.”

“Lo logramos, pero sufrimos, sufrimos mucho,” dijo el de su viaje por México y al cruzar la frontera.

“Una vez mire en la Television en Guatemala, que hablaban como los Estados Unidos querían mucho a los animales,” dijo sobre el programa de Television que había visto. Sin embargo, el entrar a la custodia de inmigración, sentí lo contrario. “Nos trataron como unos perros.”

“Y en parte tienen razón, los de inmigración,” dijo el “Están aburridos de ver tanta gente…. ay viene uno, y ay viene otro.”

“Pero ellos no saben cuál es el punto,” dijo el sobre la gente que se opone a inmigración, “Todos tienen sus objetivos, todos quieren una vida mejor,”

Su hijo Erdwin espera ir a la escuela estando en los Estados Unidos. “Qué bonito seria poder aprender inglés,” dijo Erdwin, que solamente termino la primaria, “La profesión que yo escogería seria contabilidad,” dijo él. Como muchos otros adolescentes con mucho potencial, él ha perdido mucho por el estado financiero de su familia.

En Guatemala, muchos niños como Erdwin terminan abandonando la escuela después de la primaria. “El no pudo estudiar porque no había suficiente dinero,” dijo Elios.

Dejar a su esposa y a sus otros dos hijos en Guatemala no fue fácil. “A donde yo voy, no voy a tener a mi esposa,” dijo el, “Voy a extrañar mucho a mi familia.”

Después de estar una noche en la Catedral del Inmaculado Corazón de María en Las Cruces, él y su hijo se dirigen a Colorado con 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

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

Gaspar Laynez Lopez, 53, Gaspar Laynez - Ijom, 17
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 14 of 40

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

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

Waldemar Ruiz Villatoro, 33, Virginia Carmelita Ruiz Carillo
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 13 of 40

Waldemar Ruiz Villatoro, 33, and his daughter Virginia Carmelita Ruiz-Carillo, 13, are from the town of San Pedro Necta in the Huehuetenango Department of Guatemala. In their community people mostly speak the Mayan language of Mam, however Waldemar’s family speaks solely Spanish or “Castellano,” as he calls it. The two traveled here by way of coyote, paying about 30,000 Quetzales ($4,000) for passage through Mexico, which took them on a 15 day-journey.

The money for that, however, was partly borrowed using his home as collateral. “If God doesn’t give me the chance to enter the country, I will lose everything,” he said. This situation of borrowing money to pay for their passage through Mexico is not uncommon for Central Americans.

Waldemar owns a small piece of 7 cuadra land growing coffee, which he said at most could yield 8 quintals of coffee (about 900 pounds.) However, he said the purchasing price per quintal of coffee is about 600 Quetzales ($77). So on a good year, he could make at most $616 for a yearly crop yield. This doesn’t include the cost of cleaning, fertilizing and losses due to sickness. With such small earnings, his outlook for life in Guatemala is bleak.

Virginia, who has been attending school in Guatemala, wants to get ahead in her studies in the United States. The two would travel to North Carolina where a friend awaits him.

 

Waldermar Ruiz Villatoro , 33, y su hija Virginia Carmelita Ruiz Carillo, son del pueblo de San Pedro Necta, en el Departamento de Huehuetenango, en Guatemala. En su pueblo la gente habla mayormente el idioma Mam que viene de la familia lingüística Maya, sin embargo la familia de Waldemar habla solamente español o “Castellano” como el dice. Los dos viajaron aquí por medio de un coyote, pagando más o menos 30,000 Quetzales ($4,000) para pasar por México que los llevo a un viaje de 15 días.

El dinero para eso, sin embargo, una parte fue prestada usando su casa como garantía de pago. “Si Díos no me da la oportunidad de entrar a los Estados Unisos, voy a perder todo” dijo el. Está situación de pedir dinero prestado para pasar por México es algo muy común entre los centro americanos.

Waldemar es propietario de una tierra chica de 8 acres donde se cultiva el café.  Que el dice que aproximadamente son 8 Quintales de café. Sin embargo dijo el que la venta de quintal por café 600 quetzales ($77). En un buen año el puede ganar más o menos $616 por la cosecha de un año. Esto no incluye el costo de limpiar, fertilizar y las pérdidas a causa de infección

Virginia quién atendio a la escuela en Guatemala. Quiere seguir adelante con sus estudios en Estados Unidos. Los dos viajaran a Carolina del nortenos, donde unos amigos ya los esperan

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

Carlos Humberto Manuel Sandoval, 28, Carlos David Manuel Jos
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 12 of 40

Carlos Humberto Manuel-Sandoval, 28, and his son Carlos David Manuel-Jose, 4,  from the Suchitepequez department of Guatemala arrived at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral after spending four days in migration detention.

He worked in agriculture cutting cane, an extremely difficult job in the lowlands of Guatemala, earning about 50 Quetzales ($6.50) per day toiling in the heat. “It was a daily suffering,” he described about his work which would last six months for the harvest.

“Sometimes because you make a small error, they will deduct from your pay,” this would mean he would only earn 30 or even 20 Quetzales per day ($3.89-$2.59).
He has three kids and his wife to take care of on such a small budget. For these reasons he made the difficult decision to leave his wife and kids behind to give them a better life working in the states.  

Carlos, however, is used to work, and providing for his family. He started working when he was just a boy. “11 years old I started cutting cane under the sun,” he said so he could help his mother make ends meet as the oldest of six kids.

“My father abandoned us,” he said. He was only six when his father left with another woman. “But then, he made amends and started calling us.” When Carlos was 13, he started communicating with his father, who would send the family money from the United States. “As time goes by, you grow up. There are things in life that happen, and we compromise, so I forgave him.”

His father now lives in Maryland, who he has not seen in 17 years, “Im happy and excited because I will be able to see him in person,” he said. His father helped him pay for his trip.

Him and his son suffered during their trip through Mexico. They were caught by Mexican authorities and locked up for four days in a structure with 350 people. “I didn’t eat. I saved it for him,” motioning to 4-year-old Carlos wearing a new hat he had received from the volunteers at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral.

“If we leave our country it’s because of the poverty we have there,” he said. “We don’t come because we are criminals, drug addicts or gangsters—No,” he explained shaking his head. “We came to work. That is why I came, to give my family what I didn’t have.”

 

Carlos Humberto Manuel-Sandoval, 28, y su hijo Carlos David Manuel-Jose, 4, del Departamento de Suchitepequez en Guetamala, llegaron a la Catedral del Inmaculado Corazón de María, después de haber estado cuatro días en detención de inmigración.

Trabajaba en la agricultura cortando cana, un trabajo extremadamente dificultoso en las tierras bajas de Guatemala, ganando mas o menos 50 Quetzales ($6.50) al dia trabajando en el calor.  “Era sufrimiento diario,” describio el sobre su trabajo que duraba sies meses para la cosecha.

“A Veces por un error mínimo, te descontaban de tu pago,” esto quiere decir que solo ganaba 30 o incluso 20 Quetzales al día ($3.89-$2.59). El tiene tres hijos y una esposa que mantener con un sueldo tan bajo.

Carlos, sin embargo, está acostumbrado a trabajar, y mantener a su familia. El empezó a trabajar desde que era niño. “A los 11 años comencé a cortar caña bajo el sol,”  para poder ayudar a su madre para que les alcanzara el dinero, ya que era el mayor de seis hijos.

“Mi padre nos abandono,” dijo el. El solo tenia seis anos cuando su padre se fue con otra mujer. “Pero después, hicimos las paces y comenzamos a llamarnos” Cuando Carlos tenía 13, empezo a tener comuncacion con su padre, quien mandaba dinero desde los Estado Unidos. “Conforme pasa el tiempo, vas creciendo, Hay cosas en la vida que pasan, y llegamos a un termino medio, y lo perdone,”

Su padre ahora vive en Maryland, quien no a visto desde hace 17 anos. “Estoy contento y emocionado porque lo voy a poder ver en persona,” dijo el.

Su hijo y el suffrieron durante el viaje por Mexico. Fueron detenidos por las authoridades mexicanas and los enceraron por cuatro dias en un edificio con 350 personas.

“Yo no comía. Lo guardaba para el,” señalando a Carlos de 4 años, que usaba una cachucha nueva que había recibido de los voluntarios de la Catedral del Inmaculado Corazon de Maria.

“Si dejamos nuestro país es por la pobreza y el crimen que tenemos allá,” dijo el. “No venimos porque somos criminales, drogadictos, y pandilleros-No,” el explico negándolo con la cabeza.

 

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

Robin Reymundo, 28, Sender, 11
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 11 of 40

Robin Reymundo, 28 and his son Sender ,11, made the difficult journey through Mexico from La Democracia in the Huehuetenango department of Guatemala. “I never imagined how much we would suffer along the way, but today, thank God, we are here.”

La Democracia, located on the border of Mexico and Guatemala, is a small city of about 50,000 people. Robin says there is little work, with measly pay in an atmosphere of extreme crime and violence where raising a family has simply become too difficult for him, “There is no way to get ahead.”

Reymundo is aware, that Guatemalans may be viewed as coming here on a fun trip, or as taking advantage of the system, but he said making the journey is no easy decision. “We are so far away. You cant just decide tomorrow to go back to Guatemala.”

At home remain his wife and kids. “The necessity obligates us to be separated. It breaks your heart,” he said about leaving his family. “It’s not an easy thing to separate, to leave the family, the kids, the wife and leave to a place where you don’t know anyone.”

“Our reality is sad,” he said about the situation many Guatemalans face in leaving their country, “However, it isn’t all of the time. if God gives me the gift of life, I will return.”

Despite all of this Robin remains optimistic, “We come with a positive mentality,” he said, “But we are here to do our best.”

His son Sender, who was in the fifth grade in Guatemala, hopes to be able to go to school here and learn English.

He would head to friends Atlanta  after staying at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces. The previous night he and a group of about 40 migrants were given hospitality and aided in their travel arrangements.  

 

Robin Reymundo, 28 y su hijo Sender, 11, hicieron el dificultoso viaje por México desde La Democracia Departamento de Huehuetenango en Guatemala. “Yo nunca me imagine cuanto sufririamos a lo largo del camino, pero hoy, gracias a Dios, ya estamos aquí.”

La Democracia, ubicado en la frontera de México con Guatemala, es una ciudad pequeña con más o menos 50,000 habitantes. Robin dijo que hay poco trabajo, con una miseria de paga, en un atmósfera de extrema delincuencia y violencia, donde crear a una familia, simplemente a sido muy difícil para él, “No hay forma de seguir adelante,”

Reymundo está consciente, que los Guatemaltecos pueden ser vistos como si vinieran en un viaje de diversión, o para querer aprovecharse del sistema, pero dijo que la decisión de hacer el viaje no fue fácil. “Estamos tan lejos. No puedes simplemente decidir el dia de manana, regresar a Guatemala.”

En su país, deja a su esposa y sus hijos.  “La necesidad nos obliga a estar separados. Te rompe el corazón,” dijo él al dejar a su familia.  “No es cosa fácil estar separados, dejar a la familia, los hijos, la esposa y irse a un lugar donde no conoces a nadie,”


“Nuestra realidad es triste,” dijo él sobre la situación en la que muchos Guatemaltecos enfrentan al dejar su país, Sin embargo, no es todo el tiempo, si Dios me da el regalo de vida, regresare.”

A pesar de todo esto, Robin se mantiene optimista, “Venimos con una mentalidad positiva,” dijo el, “Pero estamos aquí para hacer lo mejor que podamos.”

Su hijo Sender, quien estaba en quinto año de la primaria en Guatemala, espera ir a la escuela aquí y poder aprender Inglés.


By Paul Ratje

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

Pablo Alonzo, 48, Wilma, 16
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 10 of 40

Pablo Alonzo Gutierrez, 48 :

Made the arduous journey through Mexico with his daughter Wilma Alonzo Matiez, who hail from the small town of Joyabaj in El Quiché Department of Guatemala. Him and his daughter speak the indigenous Mayan language of Kaqchikel amongst themselves.

“To live there it is hard because we don’t have work. It is hard to maintain your family,” he said about life in his home country, Pablo spent most of his life working as a day laborer growing corn and other vegetables. He says most of the time he could only pick up work two or three days out of the week.

For raising seven kids in total and his wife, it is difficult to provide on such a low wage. Here in the United States he hopes to save money while working here, and for his kids to be able to go to school. Wilma, who sat quietly by his side, he reveals, doesn’t understand much Spanish because back home she hadn’t been going to school due to lack of money. Here he hopes for her to learn English and catch up on what she has missed.

After leaving Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces, the two would make their way to state of Washington where their sponsors await them.

 

Pablo Alonzo Gutierrez, 48:

Hizo el arduo viaje por México con su hija Wilma Alonzo Matiez, que vienen de un pueblo pequeño de Joyabaj Departamento del Quiché en Guatemala. Su hija y él hablan entre ellos, el Kaqchikel que viene de la familia lingüística maya.

“Para vivir allí, es muy difícil porque no hay trabajo. Es difícil mantener a tu familia,” dijo el de la vida en su país de origen. Pablo pasó la mayoría de su vida trabajando como jornalero plantando elote y otros vegetales.  Dice que la mayoría de la veces solo podía trabajar dos o tres días por semana.

Para mantener a tu esposa y a tus siete hijos, es difícil proveer con un sueldo tan bajo.  Aquí en los Estado Unidos, espera ahorrar mientras trabaja aquí, y para que sus hijos puedan ir a la escuela.  Wilma, quien se mantuvo callada y sentada a su lado, nos reveló, que no entiende mucho español porque en su pueblo no había podido ir a la escuela por falta de dinero. Estando aquí, el espera que ella pueda aprender Inglés y ponerse al día con lo que se a perdido.

Después de dejar la Catedral del Inmaculado Corazon de Maria en Las Cruces, los dos se dirigen al estado de Washington donde los esperan su patrocinador.

By Paul Ratje

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

Miguel Alonzo, 44, Anayeli, 17,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 9 of 40

Miguel Alonzo, 44, from San Mateo Ixtatán, in the Huehuetenango Department of Guatemala told me, “I love America,” proudly when I first meet him.

Miguel, blames the government of his country for the problems it faces, “Here comes the president of Guatemala, he just puts the money in his pockets,” he said speaking of the dilapidated infrastructure in his town, the poor quality of roads and bridges and the difficulties cultivating crops.

Miguel, a Mayan Chuj, speaks his native tongue with his 17 year-old daughter Anayeli. The two made the long journey together through Mexico paying a coyote, about 30,000 Quetzals ($3200) for their passage. Many such migrants do this for safety, and avoidance of the Mexican authorities. The reason this is so, is because most people in Guatemala cannot get a visa, and therefore cannot depart on a flight to the United States. Despite the steep cost, many prefer this option for the sake of safety.

Anayeli, quiet and shy, does not speak that much Spanish, which Miguel blames on the school system in his mostly indigenous town. Many indigenous children struggle with Spanish, an important tool for participating in Guatemalan society and receiving an education.

“Here there is life,” he said. “If you live there, (Guatemala) there is no where to get money.”
This is the reality for many other Guatemalan families which rely solely on international remittances to pay for daily life.

Coming to the United States was never an easy decision for Miguel. He has spent over seven years apart from his family during his long journey, “Its difficult,” he said, “When I left my country they were small, and when I came back they were all grown up,” he said referring to his kids.

He hopes his daughter will be able to learn some English in school in Tennessee where they would head the following day

 

 

Miguel Alonzo, 44, de San Mateo Ixtatan, Departamento de Huehuetenango en Guatemala, me dijo, “Yo amo América,” con orgullo me dijo cuando lo conocí.

Miguel, le echa la culpa al gobierno de su país por los problemas que enfrentan, “Ay viene el Presidente de Guatemala, solo a poner dinero en sus bolsillos,” dijo él, refiriéndose a la infraestructura dilapidada en su pueblo, la baja calidad de las calles y los puentes y las dificultades para cultivar las cosechas.

Miguel, un maya chuj, habla su idioma nativo con su hija Anayeli de 17 años, Los dos hicieron un largo viaje juntos por México, pagandole a un coyote, más o menos 30,000 quetzales ($3,200) para su pasaje. La mayoría de los migrantes hacen esto por seguridad, y para evitar las autoridades Mexicanas. La razón por esto, es porque la mayoría de la gente en Guatemala no puede obtener una visa, y por lo tanto no pueden viajar en avión a Estado Unidos.  A pesar del costo tan elevado, muchos prefieren esta opción por el bien de su seguridad.

Anayeli, callada y vergonzosa, no habla mucho Inglés, la cual Miguel culpa el sistema escolar en su pueblo indígena.  Muchos niños indígenas batallan con el Español, una herramienta muy importante para la participación en la sociedad de Guatemala y para recibir una educación.

“Aqui ay vida,” dijo el.  “Si vives alla, (Guatemala), no hay donde ganar dinero,” Esta es la realidad para muchas familias Guatemaltecas, que solo dependen de remesas internacionales para sobrevivir cada dia.

Venir a Estados Unidos nunca fue una decisión fácil. Miguel ha estado separado de su familia por más de siete anos durante su largo viaje.  “Es difícil,” dijo él, “Cuando deje mi país, ellos estaban pequeños, y cuando regrese ya habían crecido,” dijo él, refiriéndose a sus hijos.

Espera que su hija pueda aprender Inglés en la escuela en Tennessee, a dónde se dirigen el siguente dia.

 

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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