Yesterday after once again waiting for several hours at a different truck stop than the one I was in the day before, and after unsuccessfully asking many truck drivers if they could give me a ride, I finally decided at around 4pm that I was not going to sit around and wait any longer and that I was going to start walking towards Tallahassee (a 5 day walk) something that I was truly trying to avoid as much as possible.
So I grabbed my things and went inside the gas station to use the bathroom one last time and refill my water bottle. Then I saw a truck driver who appeared to speak Spanish wandering around the store, so I thought to myself “let me give it one last shot” So I asked him in Spanish which way he was going to? and to my surprise he said “I am going to Tallahassee”.
I briefly told him about my journey and asked him if he could take me with him. He then looked at me up and down while sipping his drink and said “Ok, I’ll take you”. As soon as we got in the truck he began telling me about how he came to America many years ago after the guerilla in El Salvador had killed his father and sister and that they were so poor that many times all they had to eat for dinner was a boiled egg split in 4 pieces for him and his 3 siblings while his Mother watched because there wasn’t enough for her to eat. He never had a chance to go to school because he had to work in the fields since he was a little kid to help her mom. Even Though he was now 60 and despite being a very wise man, I was shocked to hear him say that up until now he still didn’t know how to read or write because all he’s been doing ever since he came to the U.S. was working non stop to save money and bring his family so that they could have a better life.
His story touched my heart because it made me think of all the parents and their children who everyday risk everything to come to America in search of the so-called “American Dream”. People that many times lose their lives in the desert trying to cross the border, women who are raped by narco guerillas, and those who are “lucky” enough to make it to the other side many times end up getting detained, arrested, treated as criminals and then deported while their children are heartlessly taken away from them and thrown in cages causing them irreversible mental damaged and and who many times end up being sexually abused by older children or even by their own “custodians”. And all for what? For wanting to have a better life? Isn’t that what we all want and wish for our families? And wouldn’t we all do anything and everything within our power to ensure a better future for them?
How are these children any different than my daughter? How could I ever look my daughter in the eye and watch her open her presents on Christmas day knowing that at that exact same moment there are children her own age and even younger who are in cages while being physically, sexually and mentally abused? How could I ever be so selfish in thinking that because it’s not happening to me I should not care? How could I ever be at peace with myself knowing that I turned my back, closed my eyes and did nothing about it? How could I ever stand before God and tell him/her/it that I simply didn’t give a shit?
I am deeply thankful to Naftalino for bringing me to Tallahassee but most of all I am thankful and grateful for having met such an amazing being and learning from his story which gives me even more strength to continue this journey now more than ever. And on behalf of all the children in the world and their families who have ever shed a tear of sorrow and pain.. It is my pledge to them that I will bring Heaven to Earth and put an end to all human suffering even if it means giving up my own life!
Apr 17, 2020, 7:51 PM