I spent the morning speaking with migrants both going to and coming from America at the Commodore in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, just a few miles from the border crossing. The Commodore welcomes migrants each morning for breakfast, first aid, phone calls home, and other resources.
Those who were just deported came to the Commodore with plastic bags of their belongings boasting the Department of Homeland Security Seal. Others had been in Nogales for several days trying to re-group and find a way home farther south. Some, though–like a group of Hondurans seeking refuge for several hours–were preparing to cross into the U.S.
The desert crossing is not safe–dehydration and starvation are continuous threats. Those who seek to travel into the U.S. through the desert must find a Coyote–or guide–to take them. The Coyotes are known to take advantage of and exploit those desperate enough to cross through the desert, and they are often tied to the cartels in one way or another.
Jesus, 18 He arrived at the Commodore with a medical bracelet–he was hospitalized after 11 days without food. He said his intestines had tangled. His family is in Sinaloa, and he says he is on his way to return there.
Yuri is traveling with her two-year-old daughter from Honduras. The single mother has been making the journey north to the Nogales border for almost two months.
Yuri and her daughter received food and water at the Commodore before continuing on their trek with several others from Honduras. She says she has uncles in the U.S.
The Commodore is run by a group of Nuns who live up the hill. They have several volunteers each day to help cook and serve food, assist with migrants calling home, and administering first aid.
“I’m just trying to live better, you know?” Johnny, Honduras
The Sisters, after taking care of breakfast, spent time hearing the stories of the migrants and giving the younger ones a chance to play like kids again for a brief time.
He is less than two years old and has traveled in a sling on Mom’s back since leaving Honduras almost two months ago.
Mario lived in Phoenix for 20 years until he was recently detained and deported, leaving behind his wife and kids. He is on his way home to Guerrero, where his parents live.