Enrique's Journey

The journey to reunite mother and son

About Enrique

Enrique lives in the outskirts of Tegucigalpa (teh-GOOS-ee-GAHL-pah) in Honduras. He lives with his family in a two bedroom shack made from wooden slates. The roof is made of flimsy tin slats that his family puts tortillas on to bake in the hot sun. Only one room has electricity and there is no running water. His family struggles to afford essentials such as food and school supplies. Enrique's mother decides to travel to the United States to find a job and make money for her family. It is January 29, 1989 when Enrique's mother steps off the front porch of their house. Like many other families in Central America and Mexico mothers flee their homes to find better paid jobs in the U.S.

For many children in Mexico and Central America the loss of there mothers causes them to to also leave there home in search of them. Some children leave with just the basic information they know about their mothers, for example their phone number, what they smell like, what they look like, and their memories of them.

The journey north is extremely dangerous. Children as young as six travel to the U.S. They ride on tops of freight trains and sleep in abandoned house or behind a hidden bush. Street bandits, gangsters, and corrupt police officers attack and rob migrants. Some get tossed from the trains or beaten on the streets.

Enrique decides to take this risk. On March 2, 2000 Enrique steps off the same porch his mother did eleven years before.

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The Odyssey

Making it to the United States is much harder said than done. The trip can be over 5,000 miles. Few people try to take the journey by foot. The trains are extremely dangerous and sometimes gangsters and bandits ride on top of trains to rob. Thousands of migrants are killed and even more are caught and deported. Migrants save as much money as possible to get to America, but most are robbed during their journey. Crossing the Rio Grande is the hardest part of the trip. One mistake here and you are sent back to were you started. Some migrants try many times to cross the border. Most people hire smugglers to take the across the border but, them smuggles leave at the first sign of trouble.