For Honduran youth, the United States is the only way out of poverty.
Lesly Madariaga, Wilmer Rodriguez’s mother, spent a sleepless night searching the streets of Nueva Suyapa, a poor community in the hills around Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
But it was in vain: Rodriguez and a buddy had snuck out in secret, like thousands of other young Hondurans trying to reach the United States in search of job.
He returned home a month later, in February 2020.
Rodriguez, who was 17 at the time, only made it to Mexico before being apprehended by authorities and repatriated to Honduras.
“I want to go again,” Rodriguez told AFP. “I still have the ambition, and it won’t leave my thoughts until I pull it off.”
“I’ll keep trying even if they catch me one, two, three, four, or five times because my dream is to support my family.”
Thousands of people are exposed to the many perils of migration, including human traffickers and extortionists, in a country plagued by profound economic problems and rampant violence, with more than half of the population of 10 million living in poverty.
It might be a time-consuming and futile endeavor.
According to a recent estimate, Central American migrants spend $2.2 billion every year attempting to enter the United States, the majority of which goes to human traffickers.
According to government data, around 50,000 Honduran migrants have been deported this year alone.
Hondurans will go to the polls on Sunday to elect President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s successor.
Some regard former first lady Xiomara Castro, a communist, as a chance for change after 12 years of right-wing Nationalist Party leadership.
Rodriguez, though, is an exception. Regardless of who wins, his dream will stay unwavering.
“I don’t have much faith in politicians,” he remarked, “because the reality is, they’re all liars.”
He now hopes to become “one of the great” barbers in the world — in the United States — at the age of 18.
Rodriguez learned to cut hair after returning to Honduras and now works at the La Bendicion salon in his neighborhood.
For his efforts, he has already received two accolades.
If Rodriguez needed any more motivation, the barber capes in La Bendicion bear the US Stars and Stripes.
He hasn’t told his mother, but she believes he will try to enter the United States again.
She stated, “I wouldn’t want to go through that process again.” “I don’t want him to take that chance.” “God always supplies food,” she says, but she recognizes that this is insufficient for today’s dreamers.
“The youths have left. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.