A common reaction whenever I share about my experience in Mexico or even my work with migrants in the United States is “I had no idea.” “I had no idea that a child’s dad can be picked up from his workplace and just deported.” “I had no idea that people will hire day laborers for a construction job and then not pay them – knowing that they cannot effectively fight for their pay.” “I had no idea that migrants are often kidnapped, robbed, or threatened on the border.” The list goes on. We live in our bubbles, in our corners of the world and we don’t understand these issues that directly affect people who live or work near us.
The truth is that I, too, am still am unaware of large swatches of migrants’ journeys. My hope is that we in the US might better understand the migrants’ paths. The complexities. The hopes. The suffering. The day-to-day grind and the monumental or pivotal moments. Such understanding does not lead to simple solutions but it may just lead to greater love and commitment.
In the interest of better understanding, I have attached below the four parts of a documentary on Central American migrants travelling north through Mexico. I encourage you to take 25 minutes in the next few days to watch through these videos. It will put the coming summer of blog posts in context as I write about my time of learning, listening, and serving in a migrant shelter in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz where many of these migrants pass on the trains (though not where this documentary was filmed). But more importantly, it may make visible stories that are too often invisible. It may open your eyes a bit wider and open your heart to love a bit more.