Walk of the Immigrants 

Ivan Becerril Gutierrez , Graphic Designer

You’re out of food and the night is cold. You look up to see the moon in the sky. You see the moon not knowing if it will be your last. Back home, your family sees it, hoping for a way to end the misery. Others look up to it in the comfort of their own home. You look and ask one more time, “Is this worth risking my life?” Then you can hear the cries of the babies; just once do you hope the patrols won’t hear. You pray to God in hopes that you will be heard, and at that moment, you close your eyes. All you see is the black sky. Once more you see a brighter future that shines brighter than your past. The family, the village and the country you left behindOnce more, you remind yourself that you can’t go back. You have to face your dreams head-on in hopes for a better tomorrow. 

As we came to the end of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Madison College Volunteer Center hosted “The Walk of the Immigrants.” On Oct27, Madison College welcomed our guest speaker Saul Floresphotojournalist, storyteller and speaker. The Walk of the Immigrants was a program created by Saul Flores to raise awareness about the journey and the struggles of immigrants who come to the United States. 

Flores started the project with four goals in mind“The first would be to walk to walk across Latin American like migrants do… to raise awareness for the miraculous journey migrants make north every single day. The second would be to use my camera and photograph the journey. To document … and use the photographs as a way to introduce our issues into communities around the United States. Third would be to sell those photographs and use those proceeds to help reconstruct the little school back in my mom’s hometown in Mexico. And the fourth, which is the most common one within the immigrants, was to just make it home alive. 

Being the firstborn to first-generation immigrants, Flores grew up in New York, where he learned about the hardship of immigrants of the United States through the struggles of his parents. Motivated by hardship of migrant workers, Flores decided he was going to walk the walk of the immigrant. With just a one way to ticket to Quito, Ecuador, Flores and his camera set out on his journey to the promising United States, walking 5,329 miles from Quito, Ecuador to Charlotte, N.C.  

As a student, many of us do not understand the struggles that immigrants take when migrating to the United States. Nor will we ever understand the struggles in crossing various countries, crossing borders or risking your own life for a new life of opportunities. Many also don’t understand the struggles of starting a new life in a country where they don’t speak your native language or live a lifestyle as you did back home. Living a life as an undocumented person is something we cannot say we relate to if we never risked our lives for a better life. 

We are called not to just sympathize and relate to the struggles of the migrant worker, but to help them be heard. As elections wrap up it is our job to let the voice of those who can’t speak be heard. To let their cries inspire others to take action and stop the injustices that occur towards the undocumented community.