Next stop, 'The American Dream'

Next stop, 'The American Dream'

  • Honduras
  • Story

Children are joining migrant trains, alone, hoping to secure a safe future, on the other side of the border

June 20, 2021

Mention America to most kids and they think, Disneyland, Hollywood, NBA and movie stars.

For children like Rosa (12), Luis (9) and Estefany (12) America means, an education, protection, safety, employment and the knowledge you can build a future for your family.

“The American dream is to have the hope of bettering yourself, helping your family and getting ahead.

There are a lot of people, a lot of people who go looking for the American dream and some make it and some don't make it,” says Rosa (12).

Nearly "19,000 unaccompanied children entered U.S. border custody in March (2021), an all-time monthly high - CNN. The desperation of migrants to secure safe and hopeful futures is growing. The issues and solutions are extremely complex, but all children deserve to build a future, without having to leave their home and family.

Nearly "19,000 unaccompanied children entered U.S. border custody in March (2021), an all-time monthly high - CNN. The desperation of migrants to secure safe and hopeful futures is growing. The issues and solutions are extremely complex, but all children deserve to build a future, without having to leave their home and family.

Israel Carcamo

Estefany (12), was recently returned to Honduras by the authorities. She explained her ‘American Dream’.

"I want to go, to go to the United States, to get there safely. I wanted to go to help my family, I want to have a house of my own. (When I joined the migrant train) I only had a little bit of money, not being able to eat, I was begging in the street for food and there is nowhere to sleep in the street.

I thought I was never going to see my family again, my grandmother, my cousins, my friends, my mom, my brothers and sisters, I thought I was never going to see them again."

Luis (9) says, believes the ‘American Dream’ is, “Where you can make your dream come true. Once I crossed the border I thought I would be able to study, build my house and help my family.”

Children that join migrant trains are extremely vulnerable, being exposed to violence, smugglers, gangs and the extremities. Children often travel by foot and alone, without supervision, support, little money and sleeping amongst strangers often in the street.

The US border is highly politicised, and a constant source of friction between governments and political agencies . Despite walls, fences, border patrols and the risk of deportation, record numbers of people are taking the risk to seek asylum and build a better future.

The US border is highly politicised, and a constant source of friction between governments and political agencies . Despite walls, fences, border patrols and the risk of deportation, record numbers of people are taking the risk to seek asylum and build a better future.

Israel Carcamo

For Rosa, Estefany, Luis and thousands of children like them, they don’t take these risks just for themselves, they seek asylum with the hope that it will some day be able to benefit their whole family's future.

In Honduras, gang violence, unemployment, lack of education and opportunity, poverty, Covid lockdowns, the affects of Hurricane Eta & Iota plus ongoing instability are pushing already vulnerable families and children to their limits. And they're prepared to risk their lives to change it.

“There are times that what you live here is stronger than the dangers that you can go through,” Rosa courageously stated.

Andy and his family lost everything due to Hurricane Eta & Iota. He and his siblings found shelter in an emergency centre. Loss of jobs & income opportunities due to Covid-19 lockdowns, school shutdowns along with ongoing violence and gang activity has created a perfect storm of extreme vulnerabilities facing families and children desperate to build a safe and better future.

Andy and his family lost everything due to Hurricane Eta & Iota. He and his siblings found shelter in an emergency centre. Loss of jobs & income opportunities due to Covid-19 lockdowns, school shutdowns along with ongoing violence and gang activity has created a perfect storm of extreme vulnerabilities facing families and children desperate to build a safe and better future.

Catherine Turcios

Luis explains, “Some of the dangers were that we could be sent back and that we could be killed. Whilst walking with the migrant train I felt bad, because on the train we saw people dying and a lot of things.

We came back six months ago and we were now making our own house and building it up again."

We asked Luis - Do you think there is any hope for a better future here in Honduras?

"Yes, there is!"

We believe there is hope for a better future too.

Young people and children participate in a Peace Club in one of our Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. San Pedro Sula is extremely dangerous and known for gang violence and crime. Children are extremely vulnerable to falling into gang activity which is why Peace Clubs and CFS programmes are a vital part of our Childhood Rescue projects here.

Young people and children participate in a Peace Club in one of our Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. San Pedro Sula is extremely dangerous and known for gang violence and crime. Children are extremely vulnerable to falling into gang activity which is why Peace Clubs and CFS programmes are a vital part of our Childhood Rescue projects here.

Helene Franchineau

We work in some of the most dangerous places in Honduras, focussing on Child Protection, Livelihoods and Income Programmes, Education and Training and ensuring children have safe places to play, grow and develop through Peace Clubs, Music Classes and Child-Friendly Spaces.

Children should not have to risk their lives crossing borders to build a future.

What can I do?

It’s easy to feel helpless in situations like this but rest assured… you, us, everyone, together, can help make life-changing impact. And we are!

Here are two different ways you can be a part of the change.

  1. 1

    Donate

    Every gift makes a difference. Our Childhood Rescue fund helps children living in the world’s most dangerous places.

  2. 2

    Share on Social Media

    Raising awareness is vital. Help make people aware of the situation and the difference we can make, together.

Learn More

Honduras

Honduras

44%

of the population lives in extreme poverty

Honduras has a long history of political upheaval and organised crime. San Pedro Sula, the second largest city of Honduras, has the most murders per capita of any cities in the world. It is highly dangerous making it a perfect location for one of our three feature pilot programs. In our San Pedro Sula project we are creating safe spaces for children and teenagers. Our programs provide opportunities for learning, both educational and vocational training. We also ensure children participate in classes that ensure they know their worth and rights.

  • Gang violence, drug wars, and child labor are commonplace in many neighbourhoods

  • Honduras is the poorest country in Latin America

  • Millions of Hondurans have fled the country in the past few years; in fact, the so-called Central American 'migrant caravan' is widely considered to begin in San Pedro Sula. Many of those fleeing are women and children who fear rape, kidnapping and murder, and therefore they rather embark on a long and perilous journey.