V-"Enrique's Journey" - Sonia Nazario - Los Angeles Times

V-"Enrique's Journey" - Sonia Nazario - Los Angeles Times

A Milky Green River Between Him and His Dream

by: Sonia Nazario, Don Bartletti | publication date: October 6, 2002 | Publication: Los Angeles Times | pages: A1

Enrique is stuck on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, watching, listening and planning. Somewhere on the other side, in the United States, is his mother. You are in American territory," a Border Patrol agent shouts into a bullhorn. "Turn back." Sometimes Enrique strips and wades into the Rio Grande to cool off. But the bullhorn always stops him. He goes back. "Thank you for returning to your country." He is stymied. For days, Enrique, 17, has been stuck in Nuevo Laredo, on the southern bank of the Rio Bravo, as it is called here. He has been watching, listening and trying to plan. Somewhere across this milky green ribbon of water is his mother. She left him behind 11 years ago in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to seek work in the United States. Enrique is challenging the unknown to find her. During her most recent telephone call, she said she was in North Carolina. He has no idea if she is still there, where that is or how to reach it. He no longer has her phone number. He had written it on a scrap of paper, but it blew away while he was being robbed and beaten almost four weeks ago on a freight train in southern Mexico. He did not think to memorize it.

Enrique crosses the border into the US from Mexico in the fifth article of the series.

Los Angeles Times