Enrique is only 5 years old when his mother, Lourdes, leaves him and his sister, Belky, behind in Honduras so that she can go work in America. Lourdes promises only to stay until she can send for her children or return with enough money to support them, but each year setbacks prevent her from being with her children again. Enrique desperately misses his mother and believes that only she can understand and support him. After difficult stays with other relatives, Enrique sets out to find his mother. He is 16 years old when he makes the first of seven failed attempts to get through Mexico in the hopes of crossing the border into the United States. Along the way, he encounters gangs and bandits, but learns new survival skills that help him when he successfully crosses the border on his eighth try. Enrique is reunited with his mother in North Carolina, but the years apart have been tough. How Enrique envisions his mother and the reality he finds are very different.
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An Epilogue recounts many interviews that the author conducted with Enrique, Lourdes and their family in Honduras since Enrique’s Journey was initially published in 2006. It reveals Enrique’s battle with drug addiction, his fractured relationship with his mother, and his struggles to be a husband and father in an environment that is often hostile to illegal immigrants. In many ways, Enrique is emblematic of many of his countrymen who came to the United States illegally. Finally, the epilogue poses questions and offers solutions to address the socioeconomic issues raised by Enrique’s story
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