Why Are More and More Children Walking Across the Border?
Enedelia Arriaga* set off on the six-week journey along the migrant trail at 14, leaving her parents and nine younger siblings behind in the highlands of rural Guatemala. She rode atop Mexican freight trains, from Chiapas in the south to Tamaulipas in the north. She fought off a would-be rapist with the help of the only other woman in the group, who screamed, "She's a baby!" She walked through the South Texas wilderness for four days, trying to steer clear of the assailant, who was still with the group, and of the human remains they encountered along the way.
They were led by a coyote, and her 16-year-old cousin was with her, but other than that Arriaga was on her own. "When I left my country," she told me, "I said, 'I know God is going to be with me, and everything is going to be okay.'"