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An Immigrant from Honduras and the Story of His Journey

When I left, beginning my journey toward the American Dream, I knew I would have to leave my wife and children. They are what I love most on this earth, but it was necessary because of economic problems in my country.

Here is my story.

When I left my home in Honduras it was Thursday, the 19th of April. I left at 1:00 p.m. One day before my journey, I couldn’t decide if I was leaving or not, but on Thursday I decided to travel. It was a difficult moment. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t, because there was a lump in my throat. I put my daughters to sleep so they wouldn’t follow me when I left the house.

I could only give a kiss to my wife and I left without either of us crying.

I left my house and arrived at San Pedro Sula. I took the bus at 5:00 p.m. the next day and arrived at the border of Honduras and Guatemala. On Saturday I arrived at La Mesilla and started walking around the checkpoint, which took one night and one day in the mountains. In this way I arrived at one place and stayed there eight days.

I worked and went on to another village, where I worked for some days and left on a train on Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. I traveled through on the train until 8:00 p.m. the following day. I got off and walked a night and a day until I arrived at a place called La Mata, and there I rested. I walked some hours later and got to a place where there were no houses. I was hungry and thirsty, but I only found corn that was thrown from the train. I ate until I was full and then I slept. Soon I dreamt that the train had left me. I was sad, but someone told me in my dream, “Don’t worry, you will always have an opportunity,” and I awoke. It was around 10 p.m. and I heard the train coming. I prepared myself to jump and traveled day and night on the train.

When I got on another train, there were some military men, a lieutenant and two others and the lieutenant told us, “Come, you three.” When we got to the place, he asked us, “Where are you from?” I told him that I was from Honduras. He asked all of us, but it was only with me that he started to talk. He said I wasn’t from Honduras and he told me that he didn’t like people who were seeking God, that he couldn’t stand them. He said to me, “You and I have to talk,” and pointed a gun at me, a mini USI from the United States, and he locked me up for 25 days. He took my shoes and my shirt and only gave me two pieces of bread and a gallon of juice each day. He filled my cell with water. When he arrived, he always threatened me with his big gun.

When one day he drank too much and went to sleep, I escaped and without a shirt or shoes I walked eight hours. My feet were all torn.

I met a man who was driving a trailer truck and he took me to San Luis Potosí. Then the man’s brother took me further North and from there I arrived at the border and crossed the bridge and stepped on American soil. I crossed in front of Immigration and they didn’t stop me. But since I didn’t know the area at all, I had to speak to the official who was in a light truck and he took me to the station and then to the detention center.

In the cell I spoke to the official and told him I must leave the prison soon, either for Honduras or for the U.S.A., but to do it fast, because my family needed me. My bond was $7,500. I told him I had no money or anyone to pay it and he told me, “Then $500,” but I had nothing. He asked me for an address and I asked a friend for one and he gave it to me. The deportation officer let me out on my own recognizance because God heard my prayers and touched their hearts.

Now I am in Casa Juan Diego and I have found the family that I did not have in the United States-thanks to God and Don Marcos, who has a great, kind heart full of love.

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. 21, No. 5, September-October 2001.