Book Report of Enrique'S Journey by Sonia Nazario

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On January 29, 1989 Enrique’s mother Lourdes steps off the porch, and makes her trip to el Norte. Enrique decides he will set out, and go to look for his mother, and According to Nazario (2014): Enrique will become one of an estimated 48,000 children who enter the United States from Central America and Mexico each year, illegally. (p. 5) When his mother leaves Enrique is bewildered, for he doesn’t know who will take care of him. Lourdes splits Enrique, and his sister Belky up. Enrique for 2 years stayed with his father Luis, while Belky stayed with Lourdes’s mother and sisters. Lourdes has to be determined to get to the U. S. if not her children will pay. Lourdes gets a job sorting tomatoes, but then her brother’s friend helps her get a new job as a caretaker, and get a fake social security. Enrique’s father decides to leave him with his grandmother, and start a new family. Lourdes sends money back to her children, but Belky is the one getting an education, while Enrique has to start working. In the U. S. Lourdes joins her Honduras boyfriend Santos in long beach, and unintentionally gets pregnant. Later she gives birth to Diana. Santos left to Honduras to make According to Nazario (2014) “wise investments and multiply the several thousand dollars” (p. 14) that didn’t go so well Santos spent all the money on a drinking spree, causing Lourdes to move out into a car garage. To pay for the rent Lourdes works as a fichera, then as a house and office cleaner, and at a gas station at night. Some weeks Lourdes can wire money to Belky and her Mother. Lourdes was trying to get her children to the U. S. legally by the assistance of an immagration counselor, but the counselors have never delivered on their help. Lourdes has an apartment friend named Dominga, and she Dominga has found an immigration lawyer to help get her son legalized, but the lawyer scams all the clients.

After so many illusions of his mother coming home, Enrique becomes angry, and starts acting up in school, and eventually graduates elementary school. Enrique’s grandmother can’t put up with him, and eventually moves in with his mother’s brother Marco Antonio Zablah. After about a year of living with his uncle, Enrique receives a call from his mother, but now from North Carolina, for California has become really hard. Uncle Marco promised Enrique that one last exchange, and that will be it, but on the way robbers shoot Marco, and his brother Victor. Lourdes baptises Diana, and Enrique moves back in with his grandmother. Enrique meets a girl at his uncle’s funeral, and According to Nazario (2014) “the more she rejects him the more he wants her” (p. 32) Enrique turns into a druggie sniffing glue, causing him to rob his own family, for he owes his dealer money. Enrique decides he will set off to the U. S, and on March 2, 2000, he sets off.

According to Nazario (2014): In Las Anonas, a railside hamlet of thirty-six families in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, when a field hand, Sirenio Gomez Fuentes, sees a startling sight: a battered and bleeding boy, naked except for his undershorts. (p. 45) The boy is Enrique he has been nearly been beaten to death, but luckily for him the town's mayor helped him out, and is giving him a ride to the hospital. Enrique had attempted to cross to the U. S. six times, and on the 6th he was near the Rio Grande, but La Migra caught him, and sent back to Guatemala. It is his 7th attempt, and he is on top of the train, when a stranger asks him for a cigarette, but he didn’t know he was about to get robbed. Enrique was getting robbed by 6 men on top of the train, they beat Enrique. Back to the present Enrique is now at the hospital getting treated by the doctors. After the treatments, Enrique sets off to the U. S. again, and ask for a ride, but he didn’t know it was an immigration officer, he turns him in, but this didn’t bring Enrique down it just brought even more determination to make it to the U. S. and be with his mother.

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It is Enqiue’s 8th attempt to make it to the U. S. he now has to go through the beast which is Chiapas. Enrique sleeps in a cemetery where he can hear the train when it takes off, later he is awoken by Big Daddy a gangster, there are immigration officers everywhere, and eventually arrest Enrique and Big Daddy. Enrique escapes the jail riding a bike, and climbs on top of the train that was heading out. Enrique settles for the top of a hopper, for he can see anyone coming up. The train is approaching La Arrocera According to Nazario (2014) “one of the most dreaded immigration points in Mexico” (p. 73) Enrique’s train is stopped by migra agents, and they demand him to get off, but Enrique makes a run for it, According to Nazario (2014) “worries less than agents than about madrinas with machetes” (p. 74) Enrique takes extra caution crossing La Arrocera, he dashes across a bridge and keeps running, eventually he make sit out of La Arrocera alive, and well. The La Arrocera residents do not like to give the immigrants from Central America food or water, for they can be dangerous, but after asking multiple houses Enrique finally gets some food, and water from a resident, and he is just in time to get on another train and continue his journey to the U.S.

However in Honduras Maria Isabel, Enrique’s girlfriend, wants to set out and find Enrique, but her family does not let her. According to Nazario (2014): the Mara Salvatrucha street gangsters, some deported from Los Angeles, always prowl the train tops looking for sleepers. (p. 82) Enrique does not like gangs, but had to be with one for protection, however that relationship ends, for Enrique did not want to participate in throwing off a rival gang member, and that night he is beat by 6 men on top of the train. The train passes Chiapas, and Enrique puts it behind him. Many unlucky migrants are killed by the train due to the lack of caution that they have. Olga Sanchez Martinez is a doctor that helps migrants when they are injured by the train, proving blood, medicine, and prostheses. Migrants that don’t make it as far as Enrique have been raped, causing an emotional scar in their lives. Enrique reaches Ixtepec, a crossroads in Oaxaca. Enrique has to blend in to the local residents, so he has to act like an Oaxacan. Enrique looks at a shop window, and sees how he looks like, and it angers him making him even more determined to reach the U. S.

According to Nazario (2014) “from the top of his rolling freight car Enrique sees a figure of Christ” (p. 101) It is April 2000, and Enrique has made it about one third of the way up the length of Mexico. In the state of Oaxaca and Veracruz, the people are friendly, for they help migrants and support migrants. At night the people of Veracruz come out with bundles of supplies, and toss them up to the migrants for support, for the people like to give, and hope they can get help when they are in need. Church members have helped migrants for many years, for it says in the bible, the priest have helped migrants from tough situations. The people help keep the migrants safe, by providing a hide-out, and letting them stay with them. Enrique nears a town Cordoba, and the train unloads, and reloads valuable continents, the police get all the migrants, but luckily they let them go, and not send them back. As Enrique travels north the tracks change, he is in Orizaba, and it gets colder as he rises to the highest summit in Mexico. Migrants fear a tunnel b y the name El Mexicano, for they get covered by black diesel smoke. Once the train slows for a station at Lecheria Enrique is ready to run. They arrive in Mexico City, and now the Veracruz hospitality is gone. enrique, and his friends get on a boxcar, but when the train starts moving electricity starts up. Officers take Enrique, and his friends to their boss, but the boss gives them a tip to get off before getting to San Luis Potosi. Enrique gets a job from a brick maker, and the brick maker provides him food, money, and clothes. Enrique pays to take a bus to Matehuala, and the next day Enrique gets a ride from a truck driver all the way to Nuevo Laredo. Enrique is now closer to the U. S. and he is thinking about his mother, bjut becomes overwhelmed.

According to Nazario (2014): You are in American territory, a Border patrol agent shouts into a bullhorn Turn back. (p. 137) Enrique is on the southern bank of the Rio Grande, and is challenging the unknown to find his mother. Enrique will call a tire store where he worked, and ask them to get his mother’s number from his Tio and Tia. Enrique has joined the encampment where he lives with smugglers to junkies, he decides to work washing cars to help feed himself, and afford the phone cards. Enrique receives a meal card from a church, and is good for 10 meals. At dinner Enrique meets other children that have been through the same experience as him. Enrique meets el Tirindaro a patero, or human smuggler, and he also meets El Tirindaro’s gang Los Osos. Enrique continues to work for those phone cards, the people at the encampment help Enrique by giving him advice, and sharing meals. Enrique gains the nickname According to Nazario (2014) “El hongo” (p. 151) It is May 14, 2000, an Enrique can finally afford his first phone card, after working more he finally managed to buy his second phone card, and to celebrate Enrique got a tattoo stating “Enrique Lourdes. ” Enrique had run out of money, and resorted to selling his phone card for food and hopefully get it back, but his bucket was stolen.

Enrique decides to go, and beg downtown risking the cops. Enrique wants to cross the river, but then his friends convince him not to, and someone at the car wash tells him about the trains that go to the north. Enrique got his right shoe stolen, yet he still works hard to get another telephone card. Padre Leo will help Enrique call his old employer, and hope that his tio and tia call back. The priest has made a choice to help migrants out, for he wants to do what Jesus did. Enrique reaches his old boss, and 2 hours later his Tio and Tia call, and give him the number. Enrique calls his mother’s number, and reaches her they talk for a while, and at the other end of the phone, his mother cries.

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