Lauritza Suarez looked around her in disgust. Is it really worth it? She had just made the 4771 kilometer trek from her home town of Catacamas, Honduras to Tijuana, Mexico, her two bastard children in tow, the result of multiple rapes at the hands of a minor Cartel don back home. She thought back across the long 9 month trek, where she had been forced to surrender her body in exchange for sustenance and lodging for her meager family. But this smelly, hot, dusty, overcrowded Tijuana was not what she had expected. The organizers of this caravan of over 2500 souls had painted a far rosy picture of their trek north. All they had to do was to show up at the border of ‘Norte America,’ fill out a few meaningless scraps of paper, and then she and her family would be ushered into that land of milk and honey. All their wants removed, abundant, meaningful work, plenty of food and drink, and warm, comfortable living accommodations.
So much bullshit. Slowly, reality sank in: it would be weeks, perhaps months in this bordertown hell hole before anything would happen. Where was the work? Where were the ‘comfortable accommodations’? All lies. She sighed, looked at her children playing unconcerned around and between her legs. What a waste.
The Mexican government man that had helped her fill out the ‘meaningless’ paperwork and had promised faithfully to get it to the US consulate, had cautioned her about being overly optimistic.
“Don’t get your hopes up,” he had said. “There’s a lot of people here before you. You’re not unique. Be patient, though. Something good is bound to happen.”
Then he turned and walked away, whistling a faint tune.
Wait and see. She took a sip from the bottled water she’d bought from a discount street vendor. There was a faint taste of industrial chemicals. She grimaced. At least it’s better than the local tap water. Except for the constant threat of the violent Honduran cartels and the lack of work, I’d have been better off just staying home and submitting that paperwork through the local US consulate. At least I’d have been spared that arduous walk and the children the indignities of sleeping with strangers.
* * *
Instead of having to make that long, painful march, only to be disappointed when huddled across the border from ‘Norte America,’ killing time waiting for paperwork to be processed, what if when these migrants crossed into Mexico, the Mexican authorities helped them fill in that ‘meaningless’ paperwork, and then directed them to an area in the Yucatan peninsula known to be littered with overgrown ancient pre-Columbian ruins needing to be exhumed and examined?
There they could be teamed up with students from Berkeley’s Ancient Americas Archeological Preservation Department, graciously funded by the Pelosi Foundation for American Studies, and, in a konga-line formation, employed to locate, unearth, and rebuild those ancient monuments to long past civilizations while they waited for their paperwork to be processed.
Additionally, with abundant clean, fresh water, these now-productive trekkers, were free to consume all the wholesome vegetation they could remove, and eat all the animals they could capture. Sleeping tents would be provided at minimal expense by the Pelosi Foundation.
These migrating people would learn new skills, such as sharpening machetes, repairing shovel handles, and the correct use of adzes. They would have all the fresh and wholesome food they could gather. They would have the benefits of clean air and clean living spaces, not like what they were experiencing, cooped up in the insect- and rodent- infested ‘camps’ along the border.