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Enrique’s Journey: Readers Making a Difference

Regardless of the stance one takes on the immigration debate, most will agree that Enrique’s Journey identifies numerous societal problems- on both sides of the border. Sonia Nazario retraced Enrique’s Journey twice in order to tell his story, but readers of her narrative also have ways to spread the word, become involved, and make a difference. As you read Enrique’s Journey, check out the following organizations and opportunities to see what others are doing, or to join in.

On the official website for the book, Sonia Nazario describes ways that readers have made a difference– by creating jobs in Guatemala, opening a school in Chiapas, or sending clothing and supplies to the people who helped Enrique and other migrants.

If you’re interested in sending supplies, Nazario includes addresses for two shelters in Mexico, both mentioned in the book. She also suggests fair trade organizations, whose workers are guaranteed a living wage, or whose profits go toward helping residents of poverty-stricken Central American areas.

While many of the above organizations take on an international approach, others are helping residents of our own communities. The Literacy Network located in Madison, Wisconsin, serves low income families in need of literacy services, including immigrants. Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Finally, don’t forget to check out these inspirational photos of people who have donated their time, money, or skills to help migrants as well as those trying to make a living in their home countries.

Interested in more volunteer opportunities, or have a suggestion for readers to get involved? Leave a comment and let us know!

Sarah Leeman

Graduate Student

2 thoughts on “Enrique’s Journey: Readers Making a Difference

  1. This is a great post, thanks! It would be really cool to profile some UW organizations (or local orgs) that are working on these issues. One that I've heard about is a class taught by Tess Arenas on Border Studies. Sorry if we've already done it, let me know if I can help with research.

  2. I wanted to thank you for blogging about ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY and alert you that a new version, targeted to young readers, will be published August 27, 2013. The new version of the book is among the first non-fiction award-winning works to be written for younger readers — junior high students and reluctant readers in high school — and specifically aimed at complementing the national Common Core curriculum that requires teaching more literary non-fiction and that schools must adopt in the coming year. The original version is among the most read books in colleges – required reading for college freshman and a text that has helped facilitate discussion about one of the most critical issues of our time.

    ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY is not just the story of a boy in search of his mother, or of one family's struggles to migrate to the U.S. It is the story of the 65,000 undocumented students that graduate each year from U.S. high schools, who must live in the shadows. And it is an issue whose magnitude and urgency has grown in the past year. While the overall apprehension of immigrants unlawfully entering the U.S. is at a 40-year low, the number of children coming alone and illegally is surging. In the last fiscal year, close to 14,000, twice as many as the previous year, were placed in federal custody. An equal number of Mexican minors were deported immediately. The numbers placed in federal custody are expected to nearly double again this year. These are young people who are fleeing poverty and forced recruitment into gangs. Many are coming in search of their mothers, much like Enrique.

    Please feel free to reach out with any questions you have
    about the new version of the book and what it will mean for students.

    Sonia Nazario,

    Jodie Hockensmith
    (212) 782-9317