Imagine that last time you took a trip to another country. If it was anything like my experience, I simply went online, bought a ticket, and my biggest concern was that my suitcases weren’t overweight! I did not worry about being robbed of everything – down to the shoes on my feet- or being attacked and beaten by the police, or losing my arm under a train wheel. But this is the daily reality for thousands of people crossing Mexico from Central America to reach the US. The documentary ‘De Nadie’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX4X1YhW-sY)gives voice to some of the individuals making this terrific journey, with the hope of simply being able to give their families a better life.
Many of the people that they interviewed were from Honduras, and its cliche, but i couldn’t help but cry. They were exactly like the people in the villages were Global Brigades works, people i came to love for their kindness and generosity. I was there to help them, but even though they might have had so very little, they would still give from what they had, a plate of rice and beans, mangos, whatever. But their lives were truly hard. If a kid got sick, they often couldnt afford the medicine. I’ll never forget the day that we were working in a familys’ house, and got word that their neighbor’s kid, a 3 year boy, had died on the way to the clinic (a two hour walk away) from parasites. Something completely preventable and treatable, but they had waited to long because they didnt have the money. I was supposed to be there helping to prevent parasites. I never felt like such a failure. These are the types of situations that compel people risk everything jumping trains across Mexico to get the US just so they can pick fruit or clean houses.
It puts the petty problems of my life in stark perspective. Due to my unmerited, fortunate position in the world, mybiggest concerns are around getting my finals done for class. (I say unmerited because I did nothing to be born in a family in the US with all sorts of opportunities rather than a poor family with very limited opportunities.) When you start to get to know the actual people, it changes how you view things, from our national immigration policy to your interactions with individuals.