The only thing better than getting to see the world is getting to see it along with someone who means the world to me – thank you for everything…
You are currently browsing articles tagged Mexico.
My phone rang tonight with an unfamiliar area code, and from a noisy room, a woman’s voice came through : “I’m calling on behalf of Leonicio Delgado, who spoke to you this summer…”
It took me a few moments to understand.
“About his daughter, about Elizabeth?” I ask.
“Yes, about Elizabeth – he’s calling to see if you’ve heard any news, have you heard anything?”
Laura Elizabeth Delgado went missing over a year ago, in August 2009. She called her family from Nogales, Sonora and told them she would be crossing the border soon with her neighbor, Concepcion Tlatenchi. Concepcion also contacted her family just before they crossed.
No one has heard from either woman since.
I stumbled across this story learning about the border, the risks people will take to cross it – and what happens to their families.
Concepcion’s daughter called agency after agency looking for her mother before she turned to the press. She spent hours on the phone with me and sent me family photos by email before agreeing to let me visit her on the east coast. She also told me about Laura Elizabeth, and gave me Leonicio’s contact information.
I don’t speak Spanish – I say I’m working on it and I am, but it’ll be ages before I have the fluency to talk comfortably or do a thorough interview. But for people with common purpose, there’s always a network.
My phone call was answered by a family friend, whose email I trouble shot in exchange for help translating questions and answers that slid back and forth electronically until Laura Elizabeth’s story and then her photograph appeared on my laptop screen.
I finished the story, and told my editor I wanted the photographs to run as large as possible – they can never run too often or too large for me. If anyone responded with information, I promised the families I’d pass the information on.
I didn’t know what to expect – where the articles would run, who would see, who would care. I didn’t know if anyone knew anything. The desert doesn’t pick up the phone and call in.
And it’s been silent.
With other stories and assignments – and the rest of modern day life – competing to fill the gap, I’ve only thought about the story when people ask what I did this summer or what I’ll do next. It’s been far too easy to think of the project as complete because the edits are finished and the story hasn’t been picked up. It seems to float, motionless, on the site – static. Over.
But for Maria and Leonicio, it’s not. For Maria’s three children, her husband, her brother, her sister and their father, it’s not – just as it’s not over for Leonicio and Laura Elizabeth’s young daughter, who’s two or maybe three by now.
Tonight, Leonicio’s friend called me on his behalf from a noisy restaurant in New York, asking if I had news. Through the upbeat music in the background, I couldn’t help but picture the father who has missed his daughter ever since she didn’t arrive at his door.
I live with someone’s stories for a few hours, a few days, maybe, if I’m lucky, a few months. I won’t forget that you live with your story every day.
When the semester starts, so does A LOT of responsibility: classes, homework, teaching, etc.
The end of break was in sight. The situation was dire.
Trish, Steven and I figured we had just enough time for one last trip and we headed south…
We had sources to interview on both sides of the border in Nogales, and ended up seeing both sides of the security fence there.
… and walked west along the wall and found out that in many places it has become a canvas
Here are links to Nogales, AZ & Nogales, Sonoroa, the two parts of Nogales which lies across the border between the US and Mexico, and has been a trading center since at least the early 1900s. Today it’s one of the busiest points of entry, and the biggest shipping point for produce, with major industry contributing to population growth on the Sonora side. It’s also one of the frontlines in the immigration debate, the drug cartel power struggles, and environmental border issues. It’s a challenging, exciting place to visit, let alone live.
We spent the day meeting with politicians, city directors, and non-governmental workers who deal with issues like health and immigration.
bexz24 Nearly ready to walk out the door… first trip to Mexico / first time live Tweeting something… I expect an interesting day #bc9 about 17 hours ago from TweetDeck
bexz24 First rest stop, ’bout 25 min from Tucson #news21asu #bc9 about 15 hours ago from Twitterrific
bexz24 En route to Mexican Consulate #news21asu #bc9 about 13 hours ago from Twitterrific
bexz24 Nogales consulate handles most juvenile cases of Mexican consulates #news21asu #bc9 about 11 hours ago from Twitterrific
bexz24 now in Mexico – Mexico’s immunization campaign is national, free; rising obesity/diabetes linked 2 changing lifestyles #news21asu #bc9 about 11 hours ago from Twitterrific
bexz24 Mexican repatriation officials in Nogales receive 300 to 600 deportees, needing food, shelter, medical care, daily by bus #news21asu #bc9 about 6 hours ago from Twitterrific
The currency rate as of late yesterday, calculated at Yahoo Currency Converter, lists 1 USD as 13.221 MXN (the Mexican Peso).
The weather forecast predicts a high around 80, nice and comfy, and…wind?
I’ve got my id, my notebook, my camera, and comfortable shoes…
An interesting lesson today about finding good English language news sources for Mexico… Anyway, here is what I scrambled…
Alternatives to drug war championed at conference (Sept 28)
$22 million loan will help with Tijuana water and sewage (Sept 29)
Immigrant deaths near US-Mexico border in 2009 expected to surpass previous year’s total (Oct 2)
Immigrant deaths near the US-Mexico border at a glance (Oct 2)
Mexican Consulate marks Binational Health Week (Oct 2)
City, Baja California officials working on tourist-friendly police force (Oct 6)
This site requires registration for a free 1 day pass, so I’m including a teaser…
History via cell phone (Oct 2) President Felipe Calderon last weekend announced the start of the project “Mexico is my museum,” designed to bring the history of the Revolution and Independence in touching distance of the 76 million Mexicans that own cellphones.
For more background (& more maps):
Map Collection – Atlas of Mexico
Why all the Mexico posts? ‘Cause I’m headed their for my first visit one week from today… Yes, I plan to post pictures…