“A Future for Our Family.”
We are a family of 5 with our 12 year old son, our 7 year old daughter and our baby who is a year and three months.
We are a humble family.
In Guatemala we had work and we lived peacefully. We had a bakery. We used to work together and we were good. But afterwards we lived with fear. For 8 years we paid extortion fees to the gangs. We basically worked just to pay them money and it wasn’t enough for us. They always wanted the amount they asked for and they didn’t give extensions. You had to have it ready. After paying it for 8 years, they asked us for 50,000 quetzales and we didn’t have that money.
Dad: we knew the risk of bringing them here, but for their safety we did it. If someone was well of in their country, they wouldn’t need to leave.
It isn’t just that they sent us here. The court date is a long ways off (not until March 25th). We don’t know anyone, we don’t have anything. We feel very sad and disillusioned. We also feel unsafe and closed in here. We don’t have money for the bus to Juarez. Our family sends us a bit from Oregon but they don’t have enough to send us what we need.
Mom: It makes me sad to see my children suffer.
It was very cold in detention. You arrive wet from the desert and instead of hot air they put on cold air. They detained us on December 29th and they sent us here on January 2nd. Our message for immigration is that they should be more attentive to the needs of the people. That they give better food to the children. That they ask why someone is coming.
We ask that they allow us to stay inside [the country]. Our family can help us. They are ready to receive us in Oregon. I know we can’t enter other countries, but this is a big country and it has the means to help us. We ask that they give us permission to stay.
What we want is a future for our children. That they can study, that they live peacefully, far from crime. The kids have dreams of being a police officer and a doctor.
Son: We ask that they don’t discriminate against us because we are all equal.
Mom: We are all children of the same God. It doesn’t matter if we are short or tall or black or white.
These stories are from people who arrived at the Kino Border Initiative's comedor (dining room) in Nogales, Mexico from January to March 2020. Each person not only gave permission for their story to be shared, but also expressed the importance of people in the US paying attention to them and knowing more about their reality. They speak and they share because they believe that if we work together another world is possible.