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Siblings « Afflicted with Hope





rough, narrow road_0880INTRODUCTION:
Thousands of Salvadorans, like other Latin Americans, are finding it necessary to migrate north. A lack of job opportunities in their own country continues the cycle of poverty. Hunger is a big motivator, and these people desire to work in order to feed their families. To hear their stories is to get a chilling understanding of some of the realities they face. Often they don’t make the decision to leave themselves; others make it for them. It is a very weighty decision to leave the family. The risks for personal safety are great. Everyone has heard stories of those who were raped, robbed, maimed, or killed by gangs and drug cartels on the way.

Even if the migrant does make it into the U.S., first he needs to adjust to the draconian anti-immigration laws many of our states are enacting. Adapting to another culture is never easy and is compounded if the migrant doesn’t know the language or has no family to support him. Immigration authorities are on the hunt for migrants in order to deport them for no reason other than they “don’t belong.”

Following are true stories of 4 members of ONE FAMILY we heard of through interviews. Some details such as the names and locations have been changed in order to protect them.

REASONS FOR LEAVING: There are as many reasons for leaving a country as there are people. Inevitably the dots connect around survival. Here are the reasons for these persons leaving who we interviewed. Never once, not even remotely, did we hear of a person who migrated for personal gain. The reason surrounding the decision was always, always, and ALWAYS related to helping the family survive!

CECELIA chose to leave when she was only 17 because she was brave and strong and thought her chances of surviving along the way were good. She wanted to help the family as a whole as well as provide for medical needs back home that otherwise would go unmet.

A couple of years later JUSTINE, aged 22, joined her sister Cecelia using the same coyote following the same route. Her motivations were much the same as THE LONG TRIP NORTH BEGINS DEEP INSIDE EL SALVADOR

her sister’s. She thought she could send more money home by moving in with her sister and sharing living expenses.

MARTA’S husband is an eccentric evangelical Christian who is waiting for God to provide for them and consequently refuses to work and provide for her and their children. She wants their children to have good educations. At 44 she was the oldest and heaviest of the sisters, and everyone was worried about how she would manage to make this difficult trip, since she is not in good physical condition. But she was determined.

When the gangs in El Salvador tried to extort $1500 and threatened to kill someone in his family, STEPHEN knew he had to leave. The gang threat was the determining factor in his case. (more…)


    Afflicted with Hope / embracingelsalvador.org is one of many outreach ministries at
    Saint Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA)
    30 West Main Street, PO Box 266
    New Kingstown, PA 17072

    Tax deductible donations for support of this work in El Salvador may be sent to the above address.