Border Wall / Migrant Stories

Migrant lives

Named carved into border wall near Tecate

Traveling along the border wall, you see many traces of the footsteps of migrants.  People like you and me, who are working to improve their lives and give the opportunities to their children that they themselves did not enjoy.

One of my favorites is a name I saw near the end of the old border wall on the bottom of Tecate Peak.  “Joselito,” I wonder, is a man remembering a child he left behind?  Or is this little Joselito crossing with his father? 

Pride of place pops up along the border as well–as we see here as a migrant from Sonora remembers his homeland.  


Broken backpacks, old blue jeans and hoodies, destroyed shoes are signs of the long journey that you commonly find near the border fence.

Handmade slippers tie at the ankle with twine

Here we see a pair of handmade slippers–thick blanket fabric cut to fit over the shoes, tied on with twine or wire.  Some migrants say that this is a method they use to more easily erase their footprints.

On our trip east of Tecate, we passed two men, heading east into the mountains on a cold, windy day in April.  They were heading back to see their mother.

Each year, hundreds of migrants die in the harsh deserts and mountains of the southwest United States.  Winter and spring conditions in the mountains can lead quickly to hypothermia, while the summer heat claims lives through heat exhaustion.

Migrants heading east into the mountains

Suerte, y cuidense, amigos!

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