In the fall of last year I traveled to Mexico City to meet Las Soñadoras de Centroamérica: A group of over 100 LGBTQ migrants traveling in one of the largest ever recorded caravans. Las soñadoras, or ‘the dreamers’, were traveling mostly on foot through Mexico to seek asylum and refuge at the border of the United States. Many of them fleeing nightmarish conditions like gang violence, violent persecution based on gender or sexual orientation, and extreme poverty. With the dream of a better and all of their life’s possessions sometimes stuffed into a singular bookbag, they made the journey north.
I arrived in Mexico City on a rainy and chilly night in November, and got word that the Las Soñadoras were wearily walking and hitch hiking through a southern state in Mexico called Veracruz. The route they took is known colloquially as the “route of death”, a long stretch of desert with few places to find water or hide from lurking gangs who often target vulnerable migrants for human trafficking or ransom payments.
I sat by my phone waiting to hear from organizers of Diversidad Sin Fronteras, one of the only organizations in the United States that accompanies LGBTQ migrants seeking refuge through Mexico to ensure that this vulnerable population can legally apply for asylum. I remember doing a lot of pacing and hand wringing that night. Praying that las soñadoras made it safely. Fundraising using my personal venmo and cash app accounts to physically buy them necessary supplies for survival like food, water, dry clothes and medicine as soon as they arrived. Read more via Afropunk