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Gresly Yamali Blandon Olivas, 24, Anthony Rene Juarez Blando
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 32 of 40

Gresly Yamali Blandon Olivas, 24, and her son Anthony Rene Juarez Blandon, 8, came from Esteli, Nicaragua to seek Asylum in the United States. They were given hospitality at Our Lady of Purification Parish in Dona Ana, New Mexico.

Gresly studied until her second year of secondary school, until she became pregnant with Anthony. She worked in Spain for a year and a half to earn money, leaving her son behind.

When she returned, Nicaragua had already descended into political turmoil, with marches and protests occurring against the government. What started out as a government crackdown on protests against changes to the country’s social security system and increased taxes, turned into an unending crackdown on dissent against the current president Daniel Ortega and the government. Protesters called for the removal of Ortega, and the response has been to silence the dissenters.

In September of 2018, she was involved in some of the protests and taken into custody to by the police along with others, “They took us and beat us,” she said describing her brief stay in the notorious prison “El Chipote,” in Managua, where many political prisoners are being held. She was taken in with a group of 8 others, some of whom were given lengthy sentences for their involvement. Luckily, she was let go, but remained in danger of reprisal by the agents of the government.

“Since that day I have had a terrible life,” she said speaking of the unrest. “We can’t wear white and blue shirts with our country’s flag because it is bad for them,” she said speaking of the government. “I decided to come because I feared they were going to kill me.”

Gresly has evidence of her beatings and her involvement in the protests. The police also confiscated her motorcycle which she rode to the protest. With this she hopes to plead her case for political asylum here in the United States

She plans to join her mother, who already lives in the United States, but she wishes to keep her location secret out of fear of her government.

To arrive at the border, she came through Guatemala and Mexico, paying her way with money she saved in Spain, without a Coyote, and crossed the border in Juarez to present herself to the border patrol.

Since the beginning of the political unrest it is estimated that over 200 people have been killed, and thousands wounded. Gresly and Anthony now have no way to return to Nicaragua, “While this government is still in existence, we cannot return because they are watching us.”

 

 

Gresly Yamali Blandon Olivas, 24, y su hijo Anthony Rene Juarez Blandon, 8, llegaron de Estelí, Nicaragua en busca de asilo político en Estado Unidos. Les dieron albergue en la Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Purificación en Doña Ana, Nuevo México.

Gresly estudio hasta el segundo año de secundaria, hasta que quedo embarazada de Anthony. Trabajo en España por un año y medio para ganar ingreso, dejando a su hijo atrás.

Cuando regresó, Nicaragua ya había ascendido en una confusión política, con marchas y protestas en contra del gobierno. Lo que comenco como una represión gubernamental con marchas en contra de cambios al sistema de seguro social del país, a los aumentos en impuestos, terminó en una represión interminable en desacuerdo con el presidente actual, Daniel Ortega y el gobierno. Los protestantes pidieron que quitaran a Ortega como presidente, y la respuesta fue que silenciaran a los que estában en desacuerdo.

En septiembre del 2018, ella tomó parte en la protesta y fue detenida por la policía, juntamente con otras personas. “Nos llevaron, y nos golpearon,” dijo ella describiendo su estancia corta en la famosa prisión “El Chipote,” en Managua, donde muchos prisioneros políticos están detenidos. Ella fue llevada en un grupo de 8 personas, algunos dándoles sentencias largas por su participación. Por suerte, ella fue liberada, pero siguió en peligro de represalia por los agentes del gobierno.

“Desde ese día, mi vida a sido terrible,” ella dijo hablando de la intranquilidad. “No podemos usar camisas blancas o azules con la bandera de nuestro país, porque para ellos es malo,” dijo ella hablando del gobierno. “Yo decidí venirme porque temía que me pudieran matar.”

Gresly tiene pruebas de participación en la protesta y que fue golpeada. La policía le confiscó su motocicleta, la cual usó para llegar a la protesta. Con esto ella espera ganar su caso para asilo político en los Estados Unidos.

Ella planea reunirse con su madre, que vive en Estados Unidos, pero desea mantener en secreto su ubicación por miedo a su gobierno.

Para llegar a la frontera tuvo que viajar por Guatemala y México, pagando su viaje con dinero que había ahorrado en España, sin un coyote, y cruzó la frontera en Juárez para presentarse por ella misma a la patrulla fronteriza.

Desde el comienzo de la intranquilidad política, se estima más de 200 personas asesinadas y miles de heridos. Gresly y Anthony ya no tienen manera de regresar a Nicaragua, “Mientras el gobierno siga existiendo, no podemos regresar, porque nos están vigilando.”

 

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 Immigration Day 31 of 40

Brenda Marisol Xalin Sutuj, 21, her Husband Alex Anibal, 21 and son, Kevin Alexander, 1, were welcomed in Our Lady of Purification Parish in Dona Ana, New Mexico, and given hospitality the day they were released by ICE, in mid March of 2019. The young family traveled 5 days with the help of Coyotes paying about 90,000 Quetzales ($12,000) for the trip. This money was taken as a loan using her father’s house as collateral.

 

From San Martin Jilotepec, in the San Marcos department of Guatemala, Brenda grew up speaking the indigenous Kaqchikel language, but speaks Spanish fluently, and studied education at the university, where she met her husband. Alex studied in the same program she did, but couldn’t find a job in education, and ended up doing agriculture work earning 50 Quetzales per day to support his pregnant wife.

 

Brenda said that with her degree, she could earn about 2,800 Quetzales per month, which is equal to about $363. “It doesn’t suffice,“ she said explaining how the salary her father earned as a teacher was too little for her and her three siblings growing up. “My mom sold snacks in the school, and with that we were able to get by.”

 

“We all studied,” she said speaking of her siblings, “It is the best option there is in Guatemala.” However this wasn’t enough for them, earning such meager salaries, and to make it all worse, the competition for jobs is high because they are few and far.

 

“When we arrived, we felt at peace because we passed.” speaking of being taken in by the volunteers of Our Lady of Purification in Dona Ana.“Its hard because when you are in the ‘hielera’ it feels like the day won’t go by because you are locked up, and you cant see the sun or know what time it is,” she said about their three days in immigration.

 

 

Brenda Marisol Xalin Sutuj, 21, y su esposo Alex Anibal, 21, y su hijo Kelvin Alexander, 1, fueron recibidos en la Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Purificación en Doña Ana, Nuevo México, y les dieron refugio el día que fueron liberados por ICE, a mediados de marzo del 2019. La pareja joven, viajó 5 días con la ayuda de un coyote, pagándole 90,000 quetzales ($12,000) por el viaje.

 

De San Martin Jilotepec, Departamento de San Marcos, en Guatemala, Brenda creció hablando en lenguaje indígena Kaqchikel, pero habla el español con fluidez, y estudió educación en la Universidad, donde conoció a su esposo. Alex estudió en el mismo programa que ella, pero no pudo encontrar trabajo en educación, y termino trabajando en agricultura ganando 50 quetzales por día para mantener a su esposa en cinta.

 

Brenda dijo que, con su título, ella puede ganar hasta 2,800 quetzales por mes, que es igual a $363. “No es suficiente,” ella dijo describiendo como el salario que su padre ganaba como maestro, era muy poco para ella y sus tres hermanos en su niñez. “Mi madre vendía botanas en la escuela, y con eso sobrevivíamos.”

 

“Todos nosotros estudiamos,” dijo ella hablando de sus hermanos, “Es la mejor opción que hay en Guatemala,” Sin embargo, esto no era suficiente para ellos, ganando un salario tan bajo, y para empeorar la situación, la competencia de trabajo es mucha porque los trabajos son pocos y muy retirados.

“Cuando llegamos aquí, nos sentimos en paz porque ya habíamos pasado,” hablando de los voluntarios que los recibieron en la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Purificación. “Es difícil porque cuando estás en la ‘hielera’ sientes como si no pasara el tiempo porque estás detenido y no puedes ver el sol o saber que hora es,” dijo ella sobre los tres días que estuvo en inmigración.

 

 

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

Dionel Martinez Ortega, 48, Darwin Leonel Martinez Morales,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 30 of 40

Dionel Martinez Ortega, 48, and his son Darwin Leonel Martinez Morales, 13 are from Chiquimula in Guatemala. They were taken in as part of a large group of Central American migrants at Our Lady of Purification Parish in Dona Ana, New Mexico, where they were given food and shelter and assisted with booking their travel arrangements to their families or friends.

Having worked as an agricultural worker before, he spoke of difficulties in cultivating beans and corn. He had to support a family of five on the small income of 50 Quetzales per day, only on the days when work came.

Thirteen year-old Darwin, who only has completed the second grade, wants the chance to be able to study upon arriving in their destination. He has struggled learning how to read, because there is not a chance for individual attention.

This is the second time Dionel has come to the United State. He was deported 20 years ago. This time, he hired a coyote to get him and his son to the border, paying 30,000 Quetzales or about $4,000. To get this money, he decided to put his home as collateral, and if he doesn’t succeed in making the payments, he may lose it.

Just like many other migrants, leaving his family was difficult for Dionel, “When I left, my child was only 18 months old, but when I came back he was six and a half years old,” he said. He is yet another migrant who spends long parts of their lives away from their loved ones.

 

Dionel Martínez Ortega, 48, y su hijo Darwin Leonel Martínez Morales, 13, son de Chiquimula en Guatemala. Ellos fueron parte de un grupo grande de centroamericanos recibidos por la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Purificación en Dona Ana, Nuevo México, donde recibieron comida albergue y los ayudaron con las reservaciones para los arreglos de su viaje.

Como trabajador agricultor en un pasado, el hablo de las dificultades del cultivo de frijol y maíz. El tuvo que mantener a su familia de cinco personas en un sueldo pequeño de 50 quetzales por día, y eso solo en los días que había trabajo.

Darwin de trece años, que solo pudo terminar el segundo año, quiere la oportunidad de estudiar en cuanto lleguen a su destino. El a batallado para aprender a leer, porque no había la oportunidad de atención individual.

Esta es la segunda vez que Dionel llega a los Estado Unidos. Él ya había sido deportado hace 20 anos. Esta vez, pago servicios de un coyote para que los llevaran a su hijo y a el a la frontera, pagando 30,000 quetzales que es mas o menos $4,000.  Para conseguir el dinero, decidió poner su casa como garantía de pago, y si no logra hacer los pagos, puede perder su casa.

Así como muchos migrantes, fue difícil para Dionel dejar a su familia, “Cuando me fui, mi hijo solo tenia 18 meses de edad, y cuando regrese ya tenía seis años y medio,” dijo él. El, aun es otro migrante, que pasa mucha parte de su vida, lejos de sus seres queridos.

 

 

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

Antonia Goodman, 77, Melanie Goodman, 48
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 29 of 40

 

Antonia Goodman, 77, from Italy, and her daughter Melanie Goodman, 48, are pictured in their Mesilla home. Melanie grew up both in Italy and the United States.

Born and raised in Bologna, Italy, Antonia, met her American husband there and married in 1969. They came to New York in 1971, but ended up moving to Hatch, New Mexico in 1975. Her husband, a physician of internal medicine, had the choice of working in various rural communities in need of doctors with the National Health Service Core.

The warm weather of Hatch is what made them decide to settle in New Mexico. It was a big adjustment being in a place so remote compared to her upbringing in urban environments, “I said, ‘where are you taking me, to the moon?’”

In 1985, her husband sadly passed away in a car accident, and Antonia returned to Italy with her two daughters. However, in 1989, the sunny skies of New Mexico beckoned Antonia to return to the United States.

“The only place I wanted to come back was Mesilla, New Mexico,” she said about her decision to move back, “In a way I wanted to come for my independence, you know?” she explained. “That’s why I came to New Mexico.”

In the 1970’s, New Mexico was still quite undeveloped in comparison to other parts of the country. “When I left from Florence to New Mexico, I put in my trunk 25 liters of oil!” she said speaking of olive oil, which she couldn’t find anywhere in rural New Mexico, “I need to get oil, at least to get re-accustomed to the United States.” For Antonia, this was the biggest problem she had adjusting to the United States. As an avid Italian cook, she couldn’t acquire ingredients for her favorite recipes.

When Antonia came to the United States, she said she never felt discriminated against because of her nationality, just that many people were ignorant about the true nature of Italy.  She told them where she was from, “I said Italy, and the first thing they said was, ‘Mafia.”

“Remember I’m blonde, blue eyed and I’m white.” she said explaining how she never experienced racism, “ That makes a big difference when you come to the United States. I had it much easier, than probably if I was dark.”

Today’s current events are painful for her to witness, seeing children separated from their parents and asylum seekers made to wait in line at the border. “I think we should never treat people like that,” Antonia spoke of the immigration situation on the border, “I think they should be coming legally, but they should be welcome, and not making people wait 10 years before they have the possibility to be legal here.”

“I love this country, I want to live here, but I see when I came here in the 70s, it was different,” she explained about her views. “If I had to come to the United States now, I would not come.”

“What goes around comes around,” she warned, “We think we are so superior to everybody,” speaking of the current state of the country.

 

Antonia Goodman, 77, es de Italia, y su hija Melanie Goodman, 48, están fotografiadas en su casa en Mesilla. Melanie creció en Italia al igual que en los Estados Unidos.

Nacida y criada en Bologna, Italia, Antonia, conoció a su marido americano en Italia en 1969. Llegaron a Nueva York en 1971, pero terminaron mudándose a Hatch, Nuevo México en 1975. Su esposo, médico de medicina interna, tuvo la opción de trabajar en varias comunidades rurales por la necesidad de doctores con el Cuerpo de Servicios de Salud Nacional.

El clima cálido de Hatch, es lo que los decidió establecerse en Nuevo México. Fue un gran ajuste estando en un lugar remoto comparado con su crianza en un ambiente urbano, “Yo me dije, ¿a dónde me llevas a la luna?”

En 1985, su esposo tristemente falleció en un accidente automovilístico, y Antonia regresa a Italia con sus dos hijas. Sin embargo, en 1989, los cielos asoleados de Nuevo México, atraen a Antonia a regresar a los Estado Unidos.

“El único lugar donde quería regresar era a Mesilla, Nuevo México,” dijo ella sobre su decisión de volver, “En parte quería regresar por mi independencia, ¿tú sabes?” ella explicó. “Es por eso que regrese a Nuevo México.”

En los años 1970, Nuevo México todavía estaba bastante sin desarrollar en comparación a otras partes del país. “Cuando yo me mudo de Florencia a Nuevo México, ¡llene mí cajuela con 25 litros de aceite!” dijo ella refiriéndose al aceite de olivo, que no pudo encontrar en ningún lugar en el Nuevo México rural, “Yo necesito aceite, al menos para re acostumbrarme a los Estados Unidos.” Para Antonia, este era el mayor problema para poderse ajustar a los Estados Unidos.  Como una apasionada cocinera italiana, no podía conseguir los ingredientes para sus recetas favoritas.

Cuando Antonia llegó a los Estados Unidos, dice que nunca se había sentido tan discriminada por su nacionalidad, pero era solo que mucha gente era ignorante sobre la verdadera naturaleza de Italia. Les decía de dónde era ella, “Yo decía Italia, y lo primero que decían era, ‘Mafia.”

“Recuerda, soy rubia, ojos azules, y soy blanca.” dijo ella explicando como ella nunca experimentó el racismo, “Eso hace mucha diferencia cuando llegas a los Estados Unidos. Yo la tuve mucho más fácil que, si fuera morena,”

Los acontecimientos actuales de hoy en día, es doloroso para ella presenciar, ver niños separados de sus padres y los solicitantes de asilo que tienen que esperar en la frontera. “Yo pienso que nunca debemos de tratar a las personas de esa manera,” Antonia habló de la situación migratoria en la frontera, “Yo creo que, si deben entrar legalmente, pero deben ser bienvenidos, y no hacerlos esperar 10 años antes de tener una posibilidad de estar legalmente aquí.”

“Yo amo este país, yo quiero vivir aquí, pero veo cuando yo llegue en los años 70’s, las cosas eran diferentes,” ella explicó sobre su punto de vista. “Si yo tuviera que venir a los Estados Unidos ahora, yo no vendría.”

“Lo que siembra, se cosecha,” ella alertó, “Pensamos que somos tan superiores a todos,” hablando del estado actual de este país.

 

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 Roberto Rodriguez, 34, Carlitos Alberto Rodriguez, 3
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 28 of 40

Carlos Roberto Rodriguez, 34, and his son Carlitos Alberto Rodriguez, 3, are from Progreso Yoro, Honduras. Carlos is a single parent, and desires to give his kids a better future by working in the United States. There are no opportunities, apart from crime,” he said about Honduras, where crime is rampant and economic opportunity is low. “That’s why we decided to come.” Having been a victim of crime in the past, this was a major reason for leaving.

At home he worked in a dairy store making deliveries on a motorbike, but after the coup d’etat in 2009, Carlos says the economy has been tough. He hasn’t been working his job delivering products on a motorbike for two years because of this.

He was renting a house for his family which cost him 2,000 lempiras per month on a salary of 4,000. With the costs of power, schooling and purchasing food, he would usually have nothing left over. This was difficult while raising his four children and helping his parents. “Leaving your kids is the most difficult,” he said thinking about making the decision to leave.

They spent 20 days making their way through Mexico with a guide or a “Coyote,” whom they paid $7,000 for their services. “Sell what you have,” he said about coming up with the money to pay the coyote. For those that don’t have money, the only option is to use collateral in the form of their home, yet another examples of the extreme risk involved for migrants coming from Central America.

The expensive journey was difficult and uncomfortable for them. “You suffer because you sleep on the floor and we could only eat once each day,” he explained about the difficult trip. “We dealt with cold, there are no blankets, not anything,” he said. Upon crossing the Rio Grande, they were held for five days by the Border Patrol. Upon being released, Carlos and Carlitos were taken to Our Lady of Purification in Dona Ana, one of the churches in Las Cruces, New Mexico providing assistance to migrants released from immigration detention. This program is called Project Oak Tree and completely volunteer powered.

 

After leaving Our Lady of Purification Church, in Dona Ana, New Mexico he would travel to his brother, who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

Carlos Roberto Rodríguez, 34, y su hijo Carlitos Alberto Rodríguez, 3, son de Progreso Yoro, Honduras. Carlos es padre soltero, y su deseo es darles a sus hijos un futuro mejor, trabajando en los Estados Unidos. “No hay oportunidades, aparte del crimen,” dijo el de Honduras, donde el crimen es incontrolable y las oportunidades económicas son pocas. “Por eso decidimos venir,” Haber sido víctima de un crimen, es la razón mayor por haberse ido.

En su país de origen trabajaba en una lechería, repartiendo producto en una motocicleta, pero después del golpe de estado en el 2009, dice Carlos que la economía a estado difícil.  No ha trabajado su oficio de entrega de producto en su motocicleta por 2 años por esta razón.

Rentaba una casa para su familia que le costaba 2,000 lempiras por mes, en un salario de 4,000. Con el costo de electricidad, educación y compro de comida, usualmente se quedaba sin nada. Esto era difícil manteniendo sus cuatro hijos y ayudándole a sus padres.  “Dejar a tus hijos es lo más difícil,” dijo él, al tomar la decisión de dejar su hogar.

Duraron 20 días viajando por México con un guía o “Coyote,” a quien pagaron $7,000 por los servicios. “Vendes lo que tienes,” dijo él para juntar el dinero que se le pago al coyote. Aquellos que no tienen dinero, la única opción es usar las casas como garantía de pago, que es otro ejemplo de el riesgo que migrantes centroamericanos corren.

El viaje costoso fue difícil y incómodo para ellos. “Sufres porque duermes en el piso y solo comíamos una vez al día,” explicó del viaje difícil. “Pasamos por frío, no había cobertores, nada,” dijo él.  Al cruzar el Río Grande, fueron detenidos por cinco días por la patrulla fronteriza. Al quedar en libertad, Carlos y Carlitos fueron llevados a la Iglesia Nuestra señora de la Purificación, en Dona Ana, una de las iglesias en Las Cruces, Nuevo México, que ofrecen ayuda a los migrantes liberados de la detención migratoria.  Este programa se llama “Project Oak Tree” y es completamente compuesto de voluntarios.

Después de dejar la Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Purificación, en Doña Ana, Nuevo México se dirige con su hermano que vive en Raleigh, Carolina del Norte.

 

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 Immigration Day 27 of 30

Israel Domingo Diego Pascual, 32, came to the United States with his son Armando Diego Andres, 13, from San Juan Tutlac, a part of Barillas, in the Huehuetenango Department of Guatemala. “I came to the United States out of necessity,” he said, “what affects us most there is the poverty and crime.” His father, mother, wife and three other kids remain in Guatemala, whom he hopes to assist if he is able to work.

“My wish depends how my life goes in the United States, whether I can get good work here and earn money,” he said, “I am giving my life, my time to work for my life with my wife and the future of my kids.”

Israel hopes he can provide for his family enough that his kids can study past the sixth grade and get a better career. He was only able to finish the sixth grade there, where many impoverished kids stop attending because of the high costs of schooling thereafter. “I would have wanted to continue in school longer, but my father didn’t have any money.”

Israel, like others from his country, wouldn’t have left if he could have made life work in Guatemala. “The people want to be safe, and move forward, but there is no means, no road, no support,” he explained, “We all want to prosper and be safe, but we are stuck in the road.”

 

Israel Domingo Diego Pascual, 32, llegó a los Estados Unidos con su hijo Armando Diego Andres, 13, de San Juan Tutlac, una parte de Barillas, en el Departamento de Huehuetenango en Guatemala. “Yo vine a Estados Unidos por necesidad,” dijo el, “lo que nos afecta más el la pobreza y el crimen.” Su Padre, madre, esposa y tres otros hijos, siguen en Guatemala, quien espera ayudar si lo dejan trabajar.

“Mi deseo depende de cómo sería mi vida en Estados Unidos, si puedo conseguir trabajo aqui, y ganar dinero,” dijo él, “Estoy dando mi vida, mi tiempo para trabajar, para mi esposa y para el futuro de mis hijos,”

Israel espera trabajar para mantener a su familia suficiente para que sus hijos puedan estudiar más allá del sexto, y tener un futuro mejor. Él solamente pudo terminar el sexto año allá, donde muchos niños pobres dejan de ir a la escuela por causa de los costos altos para seguir con sus estudios. “Yo hubiera querido continuar con mis estudios más tiempo, pero mi padre no tuvo el dinero,”

Israel, como muchos en su país, no se hubiera ido si hubiera podido hacer vida en Guatemala. “La gente quiere estar segura y seguir adelante, pero no se puede, no hay camino, no hay apoyo.” explicó el, “Todos queremos prosperar y estar seguros, pero estamos estancados en este camino.”

 

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 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

Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 25 of 40

Abelardo Cucul, 34, and his son Baldwin Cucul, 9, are from a small town named Damasco in the city of Coban in the Alta Verapaz Department of Guatemala. Back home, remain his four other children, and his wife.

His son, Baldwin, has only studied for one year. “What happens is that I don’t have any money,” he said about his kids not being able to go to school. Baldwin only speaks Q’eqchi’, an indigenous language spoken in Alta Verapaz, and is thus silent and shy around us.

They spent almost 20 days on their journey through Mexico, asking for help and hitching rides. They finally made it to Ciudad Juarez, where they linked up with a group going to cross the Rio Grande. Upon arriving at the US-Mexico border, they spent another seven days in migration detention. They crossed the river in Ciudad Juarez and entered the United States to be apprehended by the Border Patrol.

After leaving Holy Cross Retreat Center in Las Cruces, he would go to Houston where his cousins are.

 

Abelardo Cucul, 34, y su hijo Balwin Cucul, 9, son de un pueblo chico llamado Damasco en la ciudad de Cobán, Departamento de Alta Verapaz en Guatemala. En su país de origen deja a sus cuatro hijos y a su esposa.

Su hijo, Baldwin, solo estudió un año. “Lo que pasa es que no tengo dinero,” dijo el explicando el porque sus hijos no han podido ir a la escuela. Baldwin solo habla Q’eqchi’, un lenguaje indígena hablado en Alta Verapaz, y por eso se queda callado y es tímido con nosotros.

Duraron casi 20 días en su viaje por México, pidiendo ayuda y aventones. Por fin llegan a Ciudad Juárez, donde se unieron a un grupo que iba a cruzar el Río Grande.  Al llegar a la frontera de Estados Unidos – México, estuvieron otros 7 días en detención migratoria. Ellos cruzaron el río en Ciudad Juárez y entraron a los Estados Unidos para ser detenidos por la patrulla fronteriza.

Después de dejar Centro de Retiro Santa Cruz en Las Cruces, se dirige a Houston con sus primos.

 

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

Augusto Lopez, 40, Osbin Misael Lopez, 15,
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 24 of 40

Augusto Lopez, 40, and his son Osbin Misael, 15, from La Libertad in the Huehuetenango Department of Guatemala arrived at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in Las Cruces after being released from migration detention. Back home he worked as a day laborer cutting coffee. His hometown is situated in the highlands of Guatemala, surrounded by steep mountains.

Augusto said working in coffee is a “favorable” job where he is from, even though the pay is low. “50 Quetzales per day ($6.50), working from six in the morning until four in the afternoon,” he said.  His family lives on a small piece of land in an adobe house which he said has suffered damage due to regular earthquakes in his area. Augusto said leaving his family was difficult, “We have never been apart.” After leaving Las Cruces, he and his son Osbin would head to North Carolina

 

Augusto López, 40, y su hijo Osbin Misael, 15, de La Libertad Departamento de Huehuetenango en Guatemala, llegaron a la Catedral Inmaculada Corazon de Maria en Las Cruces después de haber sido puesto en libertad de la detencion de inmigracion. En su país trabajaba a diario el el cultivo del cafe. Su pueblo está ubicado en los cerros de Guatemala, rodeado de profundas montañas.

Augusto dijo que trabajar en el café es un trabajo “favorable” de donde él es, a pesar de que la paga sea baja. “50 quetzales al dia ($6.50), trabajando desde las seis de la mañana hasta las cuatro de la tarde,” dijo el. Su familia vive en un terreno chico, en una casa de adobe que ha sufrido daños por los terremotos en esa área., Augusto dijo que dejar su familia fue difícil, “Nunca hemos estado separados,”

Después de dejar Las Cruces, su hijo Osbin y él se dirigen a Carolina del Norte.

 

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

Selvin Antonio, 30, Selvin Ariel, 7
Faces of Immigration

Faces of Immigration Day 23 of 40

Selvin Antonio, 30, and his son Selvin Ariel, 7, from Jutiapa, Atlántida in Honduras made the journey to the U.S. – Mexico border in order to improve their lives. Selvin Antonio worked in the fields harvesting crops. His hometown is a small village where little economic opportunity exists. In Honduras, remain his wife and other child, as well as his parents.

Their journey through Mexico was difficult, making the journey alone. They spent two weeks relying on the help of kind people to help them along their journey. Upon crossing the Border and surrendering themselves to the Border Patrol, they spent three days in migration detention.

After leaving Las Cruces, he would go to South Carolina, where his uncle has lived for years. He hopes to work there if he can stay. If he is able to do so and save enough money, he hopes to return to Honduras some day to be with his family again.

 

Selvin Antonio, 30, y su hijo Selvin Ariel, 7, de Jutiapa, Atlantida en Honduras, hicieron el viaje a la frontera de Estado Unidos – México, con el fin de mejorar sus vidas. Selvin Antonio trabajaba en el campo en la cosecha.  Su ciudad natal es un pueblo chico, donde la oportunidad económica es muy poca. En Honduras, se queda su esposa y su otro hijo, al igual que sus padres.

Haciendo el viaje por México solos, fue dificil.  Su viaje de dos semanas fue esperando ayuda de gente amable, quien los ayudó durante su viaje.  Al cruce de la frontero y su entrega con la Patrulla Fronteriza, estuvieron en detención migratoria por tres días.

Después de dejar Las Cruces, se dirige a Carolina de Sur, donde su tío ha vivido por algunos años.  Espera quedarse allí y poder trabajar. Si lo puede lograr y ahorrar dinero, espera regresar a Honduras algun dia para estar con su familia.  

 

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