Saturday, November 24, 2018

Mexico City: The Caravan: The Roses Left Behind

El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. May 2017.

One day, "Lina," a young married woman with two children, showed me photos of the rose bushes from her garden back home in El Salvador.

The photos are all that she has now of her garden.

El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. May 2017.

Lina showed me her roses while we stood in the communal kitchen of the guesthouse - the guesthouse where I had a tiny, but private room, and where her family of four slept on mats on the floor, next to strangers, in the meeting room above us.

Lina used to have her own kitchen, her own sala. She had the garden. She and her husband and their two children used to sleep in beds. Their own beds. Her children went to school.

Regardless of your view about human migration - documented or undocumented - let's always remember this: No one casually leaves behind everything of comfort they knew before. No one casually pulls their children from school. No one casually enters into a journey of thousands of miles into an uncertain future, but with known dangers to themselves and their children. No one casually gives up control over their own home domain to enter into a temporary shelter to sleep on the floor with strangers.

No one casually abandons the roses they tended in their personal gardens of Eden.

What reality would be so dire that Lina and her husband would take their two young children, abandon their home, school, neighborhood, and close family, and flee into the unknown? To be imprisoned, en famille, in a Mexican jail before finding release into a Mexican shelter?

Death. Specific, detailed, written death threats against Lina's husband for something he saw.

El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. May 2017.

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