Between inhospitable trails that have opened in the middle of high mountains, we traveled more than 400 kilometers from Tegucigalpa, to reach San José Miramar, a hamlet in the municipality of Santa Rita, department of Copán, Honduras.
There, in a half-built adobe house, little Wilder Ladino García was born two years ago.
This boy, who made the headlines of the local and international media because of the way he was found in Mexico, left this town on June 25, accompanied by his father, Isidro Noé Ladino Garza, 27.
“Because we don’t have money to buy food to support ourselves,” says Lorena García Vásquez, 23, Wilder’s mother, who opened the doors of her house to tell us why, together with her husband, they made the decision to that both “try their luck.”
The photo that almost caused a heart attack
On Monday June 28, the National Migration Institute (INM) of Veracruz, in coordination with the National Guard, reported, through a statement, on the abandonment of a two-year-old boy in a truck that “was transporting more than 100 foreigners crowded ”.
The statement indicated “that the people of Central American origin” who were found on a highway that connects Chiapas with Veracruz, Mexico, “presented symptoms of dehydration and suffocation. Unfortunately, the body of a lifeless young man, around 25 years old, was found there ”.
The photograph showing the boy with the description made by the Mexican authorities quickly went viral.
That same day, in the afternoon, a phone call from Mexico shook Lorena. “What if I was the child’s mother and that they had found him alone, along with a trailer,” he tells Univision Noticias that they asked him.
The call turned her world upside down, but seeing the photograph of her little Wilder says it was the bitterest drink of her life. “I felt despair for my child, I felt like life had left me from this world. I felt great pain in my heart because I was sure that my child was going there and I never believed that this would happen to them on the way ”.
He does not know why they were on the trailer
Sunday, June 27 at 11 in the morning, was the last day that Lorena had communication with her husband Isidro. An overwhelm seized her because since they left, he was telling her where he was going and the conditions in which they were both.
Perhaps that explains why Lorena bows her head and cries when she says: “I didn’t know that they were going with other migrants in the trailer. Since the boy’s father told me they were going by bus, no, no, I don’t know anything, because they would go in that trailer ”.
Since then, this woman has remained in anxiety, because although she knows that the Mexican Migration authorities have her child, she does not know exactly where and how her husband is, who contacted her to tell her that he was detained, but does not know exactly where.
For this reason they left Honduras
When you arrive at the hamlet where Lorena lives, just look up to see that poverty is fighting for land with misery. This woman lives in a dirt house that has not been completed for a long time. Inside, some broken chairs, some plastic cans stacked around a stove, on which are a couple of hard tortillas.
“My husband earns 100 lempiras a day (about $ 4), when he finds it, because he works two or three days a week as a laborer for some people here,” he says. With that money, Isidro supports Lorena, his other six-year-old daughter Nancy Abigail, and little Wilder.
“As all the people are crossing with minors, for that reason we decided that he went with the boy. The idea was that when he was in migration he was going to pass with the child there, ”he says with a tone of voice in which the fear of not knowing what this story is going to end up is heard.
A few meters from Lorena’s house stands the old house of Julia Garza, a 74-year-old woman, Isidro’s mother and Wilder’s grandmother.
Between the tears and sadness caused by what he is living at this moment, he says “my son was very desperate when he saw the poverty in which they lived. He decided to go with his little boy when he learned that some of them were passing by with children ”.
This couple is convinced that in their town there are no opportunities to give their children a better life. His low educational level does not help either, since he barely attended the second grade of primary education and she made it to the fourth.
Isidro, Lorena and their children are part of the army of the poor in this Central American country. According to official data, the poverty rate in this country, with more than 9 million inhabitants, had a regrettable increase from 59.3% in 2019, to 70% in 2020.
“I don’t have a place to work here,” says Lorena, “and as I already told you, with 100 pesos that my husband earns when he finds work, we barely eat once a day,” she adds.
In this region, as in many other areas of the country, the pandemic has left thousands of families without jobs. The passage of hurricanes Eta and Iota also left important consequences that affect thousands who see in the trip to the United States the only opportunity to raise their families.
But more serious than the pandemic and the hurricanes, is the corruption that splashes the administration of Juan Orlando Hernández. Not for pleasure, Ricardo Zúñiga, envoy of President Joe Biden for the so-called northern triangle of Central America, pointed out that “every year corruption costs the people of Honduras approximately 12% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that is, three one billion dollars in 2020, in the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic ”.
The US official provided this information within the framework of the National Meeting of Entrepreneurs, held in the Honduran capital under the convocation of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP), the previous week.
“Give me back my son”
Without giving a specific date, the authorities of Mexico and Honduras informed Lorena that in the next few days they will return her son. “This has me desperate because I want to have him here with me.”
But she is more concerned about not knowing precisely where and with whom her husband Isidro is. He has communicated with her twice, “he told me that they had him detained in Tuxtla, but only that.”
Lorena is not clear about what will happen to Isidro, so she asks the authorities to give her an opportunity to get to the United States, because upon being deported to Honduras, she will return to live in the same conditions that forced her to try to cross with her son. , in an undocumented way.
“There are people who criticize, but only one who knows that sometimes there is nothing to eat and one becomes desperate for the children. That is why I ask for an opportunity, that they see how I live and that they see that I really need help to survive with my family, “he said.