News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mexico's Other Border - National Geographic

Central American immigrants heading north face many hazards—and many crossings—in their risky trek to the “land of marvels.”

Jessenia and Armando López crossed the Suchiate River from Guatemala into Mexico on a hired raft of wood planks lashed to giant inner tubes.

The raftsman pegged them immediately as undocumented migrants and charged them ten times the usual fare, even though Jessenia thought she had disguised herself as a local lady by wearing platform shoes and carrying all her belongings in a homemaker’s plastic shopping bag. She had managed to bathe and wash her clothes daily since they had left Nicaragua—in Mexico, Jessenia reminded her husband, thieves and officials identify migrants not only by their packs and caps and dirty walking sneakers, but also by the smell of their bodies on crowded buses. She put on makeup and perfume every morning, and dangling earrings. These were the rituals that gave her momentum, a certain degree of calm: launder, improve appearance, pray.

When they reached the Mexican side of the river, Armando unloaded the used mountain bicycle they had bought in Guatemala, and they waited while a uniformed soldier on the riverbank rifled indifferently through Jessenia’s bag, explaining that he was looking for weapons or drugs. Then the soldier assessed them a ten-dollar bribe, and the Lópezes got on the bicycle and began to ride north.

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