"I could picture the children being scared and not knowing what was going to happen to them because I was one of them 12 years ago."
My heart broke into million pieces the other night as I watched the news and saw all these kids and families who had to run away from their country because they did not feel safe living there anymore. As I watched, I could picture the children being scared and not knowing what was going to happen to them because I was one of them 12 years ago.
I had to run away from my home in Guatemala and move to a new country because where I lived was no longer a safe place for my sister and I. We left to join my mom in the United States after our dad was shot and killed by a gang.
I left Guatemala few days later with a coyote, a stranger who I had never met. I walked the desert with a group of people, all of us traveling to the United States in search of better lives. The road was not easy. I can remember the desert got so hot that I almost fainted but I knew I could not give up: I had to get my younger sister safely to my mother’s arms. I could not die or be caught by border patrol. I was a 7 year-old girl, running away from home, not because I just wanted to leave, but because I was scared to stay.
When I hear that children from Central America are being detained, it hits close to home. Those children are making the same journey I made 12 years ago. Just like me, they are running away from poverty and gangs. They are my brothers and sisters and that’s why I am committed to a week long fast to help call attention to this humanitarian crisis.