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Most of the migrants I meet here in Agua Prieta have experience crossing—or trying to cross—the U.S.-Mexican border on foot. When I ask them about the crossing, they mostly report the same thing: Es un viaje muy feo.
It’s a very ugly journey.
Many people head out with insufficient water. Others prepare for a journey of two days, but end up lost for over a week.
The U.S.-Mexican border has claimed thousands of lives of migrants trying to reach the United States. They often die from “exposure,” which translates to dehydration and heat stroke. Many of them put their lives in the hands of guides, often referred to as “polleros”, or “chicken herders”, who charge a fee to take groups of migrants across the desert.
Look at these images to understand a little more about the passage from Mexico to the United States and to see how people from Frontera de Cristo honor the memory of those who have passed.
- Learn more about Frontera de Cristo from their website.
- To learn more about the trials of crossing into the U.S., read the book The Devil’s Highway—a true tail of a group of migrants who perished in the desert. It’s not an easy read, but it certainly helps explain what’s going on.
- Do you think you’d make the journey? It’s hard to imagine what we’d do when we’re not actually faced with the situation, but just take a minute to think about it: if you felt your best (or maybe even only) option to support your family was to cross illegally into the U.S., would you go?
- Pray for the safety of those crossing the desert today. Pray for the families of those who died and the families who still have no news of a loved one who’s left for the journey.
About the Author: Laura is a journalism fellow with World Next Door. She graduated from the University of Arizona, Tucson with a degree in Animal Sciences and a minor in Spanish. She is constantly learning, making friends, dancing, and trying to understand her role in alleviating the suffering of others. Laura also attracts a lot of awkward situations.