“They kicked us out of our country.”
We came because of extortion. They kicked us out of our country. My husband came here to the US originally when he was still a youth. And then eight years ago he bought the supplies he needed and said “I’m going to Guatemala to set up my business.” He started a bakery and we hadn’t even opened our doors when they arrived to extort us. Otherwise we wouldn’t have had this need to come here and suffer with our kids.
Here we go through cold, rain, sun. It’s very boring to be here with nothing to do. I look for work but they don’t give it to me because they say I don’t fill out the applications completely and without that I won’t get work. I would like to work in cleaning, something that I could do while still keeping an eye on my kids, or cooking. I know how to make Guatemalan food. But the food here in Mexico is very different from what we eat there in Guatemala.
Here people came to the aid center and offered some work opportunities to people and my husband went, but he is just barely beginning. He has to pay 14 pesos of bus fare to get there and 14 to get back, which is 28 pesos a day. And we still don’t know how much they are going to pay him, because they said it depends on what he produces, since his profession isn’t in that kind of work but is just in making bread.
I’m here with three kids. They have been getting very sick and I’m worried because they don’t recover well. For example, [one of my kids] has been running a fever. He had a bad fever for three days and three nights. I brought him several times to the [aid center] and had him see the doctor. They gave me medicine but it didn’t seem to have an effect. Then Panchito told me to go to the hospital and brought me there. They did a check up and gave him medicine and thanks to God he is feeling a little better thanks to the medicine and our faith in God. Because God is the only one who can heal people. He takes care of them, he protects them from everything, from all danger. We just give our lives over to him.
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.