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Enrique's Journey
     

Enrique's Journey

4.1 51
by Sonia Nazario
 

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An astonishing story that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States, now updated with a new Epilogue and Afterword, photos of Enrique and his family, an author interview, and more—the definitive edition of a classic of contemporary America
 
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper

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Enrique's Journey 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seven times Enrique is caught and returned to Honduras. Despite these initial failures and being robbed by gangs and Mexican police, Enrique tries again. (Being robbed meant that Enrique had to stop and earn money from time to time for food, or beg for food - an activity that risked being reported to the police.) After about two months he makes it to the Rio Grande (at one point estimating that about 200 other illegals were riding the same train in Mexico; many lose limbs or lives from falls), phones his mother, and she arranges to pay $1,700 for him to be smuggled to Orlando, Fl. (Many coyotes are dishonest and simply take the money and disappear. Similarly, many U.S. "immigration counselors" are also bogus - Enrique's mother lost almost $4,000 to them.) Every woman Nazario interviewed in the U.S. who had left children behind thought the separation would be brief. Reality is it takes years and years to reunite, and by the time it happens the children are usually very angry - feeling abandoned. Too often the boys seek out gangs to try and find the love they sought from their mothers; too often the girls get pregnant and form their own families. Most children who set out to rejoining their mothers don't make it. "Enrique's Journey" also provides interesting comparisons between Mexico and the U.S. Illegals in Mexico mostly travel by train (averaging 7 - 30 different rides), are aggressively pursued and often abused by law enforcement throughout the country, frequently are taken advantage of by employers, and are feared and resented by locals (theft, violence). In the U.S. illegals mostly travel by vehicle, are aggressively pursued primarily only at the border, are treated humanely by law enforcement, frequently are taken advantage of by employers, and also are feared and resented by many locals. So where does Presidente Fox get his high and mighty attitude towards the U.S.? Well written, backed by real documentation.     
markpsadler More than 1 year ago
I have read umpteen books over the last six months on the subject on migrants leaving their Central American or Mexican homes for a shot at the dream of living in Ther United States. The ones that come here are predominantly wonderful loving parents ready to work hard and send the money they make back to the families so they can survive a little better than most of the people left behind to the abject poverty in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala etc. Their stories are always tragic full of loneliness, abuse and death. The people attacking them are robbers, gang members and renegade police officers, each countries el migra, ready to put a hold on the dream A hold is all that it is. These people are determined to run away from the poverty their lives have given them, willing to risk life and limb to reach loved ones who have gone ahead. I have to highlight Enrique's Journey as the one most exceptional tale that I have read on this subject. While other authors too have travelled with migrants to trace their stories and steps none have done it as efficiently, none have laid bare the awful tragedy or shown the determination of the people she followed so graphically than journalist and authorr, Sonia Nazario. Having met seventeen year-old Enrique's she goes about back-tracking, following up on every detail of his story from visiting his home town, interviewing his relatives, riding El Tran de la Muerte and witnessing for herself the terror of bandits on the roof of the train carriages, of people falling or being knocked from their perches to fall on the rails to perish or to lose a limb. She stopped and interviewed the priests that helped the migrants with food and shelter, the ones that stood in harms way to help strangers. In short everywhere Enrique went so did she. The story she wrote is adapted from the news story she earned a Pulitzer prize for and takes the reader along on the torturous decisions that humans make to leave their small children to give them a better life and how those same separated children so often turn to drugs and crime before making the decision to travel to America to find their family. We feel the agony of the attacks on the physical bodies - Enrique was thwarted seven times before finally reaching the promised land - and we gather into our souls the love expressed by the folk that help those worse off from themselves as they throw food and clothes to the trainriders. For the priests and health-workers that administer spiritual and physical food Nazario shows a side of humans that I have not seen described in other border crossing tomes. She brings indignation, faith, a feeling of hopelessness that one cannot do more and intense feeling to her writing. I shed a tear or two in the dramatic tale of Enrique's Journey
SAMillerInIA More than 1 year ago
I normally do not enjoy non fiction books, but the author's style of writing, as well as her in-depth personal experience with researching this story made for compelling reading. No matter where you stand on immigration or immigration reform, this book goes beyond that topic, touching on the more important aspects of legal and illegal immigration: how it affects families and societal structure throughout the Americas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After Enrique's mother leaves to go to the U.S. to support her family with the little money she can send to them, Enrique can not understand why she has left him. He tries many times to make it to America to find his mother but is often sent back to Honduras where he waits until he can try again. He eventually makes it to 'el norte' on his 8th attempt. 'Enrique's Journey' shows the hardships that kids as young as 7 go through to be reunited with their mothers. It also shows the dangers of riding the trains whether it be corrupt police, bandits, or being crushed by the train wheels. Many kids risk life and limb just so they can know if their mother still loves them. The book moved at a good pace but was sometimes very depressing. I would still recommend it is a light, easy but powerful read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book, Enrique¿s Journey by Sonia Nazario is a story of a boy¿s search for his mother who left him to go live in the United States. The story begins in Honduras where Enrique¿s family is struggling to survive. Lourdes, Enrique's mother decides she must leave for the United States to be able to support her family. She leaves Enrique who is five and his sister in the care of relatives. After many years pass, Enrique realizes he must find his mother in the United States to ever be happy. His life in Honduras has become worthless. He has quit school and spends most of his time high from sniffing glue. Enrique leaves Tegucigalpa one day with the clothes on his back and a slip of paper with his mothers phone number. He has no money and does not realize the dangers that lie in wait for him. Enrique must travel through Mexico by train to make it to the United States. Along his journey, Enrique encounters numerous dangers in which he is lucky to make it out alive. At one point, he is beaten so badly, he can barely make it into the nearby town. Gangsters and immigration patrol throughout Mexico stop immigrants in their travels and demand money and clothing, often killing them. Not only are the gangsters and patrol dangerous, but so are the trains. Many immigrants loose their lives and body parts while jumping on and off the boxcars. The most amazing part is the people he meets along the way who help him when they have so little themselves. It takes Enrique over two months and eight attempts to get to his mother. With the help of a smuggler and $1,200.00, Enrique finally sees his mother. Once in the United States, things are not the way Enrique imagined. He does not respect his mother and resents her for leaving him. He misses his daughter and girlfriend. Enrique begins to make bad choices again and drinks and does drugs. Finally, He realizes that he needs to grow up and wants Maria here with him. Maria leaves her daughter and is smuggled into the United States. She comes to live with Enrique. They miss their daughter, Jasmine very much and hope to bring her to the Unites States when possible. Many messages abound from Enrique¿s Journey, but the three major ones are that anything can be achieved with determination, love can drive one to do amazing things and dreams are not always reality. Enrique was determined to find his mother in the United States. He felt that whatever life she was living, it would be better to be with her than without her. He knew he could sustain any hardships because of his determination to see her. Enrique kept trying and trying believing that once he was with her, he would be happy. Love also can cause amazing things to happen. Enrique loved his mother so much, he was willing to leave life in Honduras to be with her. Finding her and being with her was his major focus for years. On his perilous journey to find his mother, what kept Enrique moving forward was his love. When Enrique reached the United States, he realized that his dreams were not reality. He was happy for a short time and then began to resent his mother for leaving him. Enrique thought they would live happily together forever with little struggles. That was not the case. In the end, Enrique realizes that his mother is very important to him. Finding his mother with determination and love helped him learn that life might not always be what one imagines, but it can still be great with hard work. Enrique¿s Journey is an excellent example of life in Honduras. The music, poverty, family connections, and overall generosity of the people perfectly portrays how Hondurans live. They have little to nothing, yet have the spirit of family and togetherness which keeps them happy, even in the worst conditions. Another excellent portrayal of life as an immigrant is shown with Enrique¿s trip to find his mother, The descriptions and experiences are so vivid that one actually believes they are there. One can
Guest More than 1 year ago
Enrique's story is brilliantly captured exposing the treacherous path that migrants must travel in order to gain a chance at opportunity. The book goes into amazing details about the life Enrique is subjected to growing up as an abandoned child in Honduras. His yearning for his mother is too great for him to handle and he struggles to fight his past and uncertain future. Even with the grave risks involved with his repeated escapes from Honduras in search of reaching the States, Enrique finds conquering his ghosts is, too much to handle. This adventure strips Enrique of his childhood and tosses him into a tornado of pressures which will mold him into an unpredictable young man, but first he must successfully cross Mexico on a train which many are killed on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enrique’s Journey is a non-fiction novel written by Sonia Nazario to give us insight into the life of an immigrant. In my opinion, Nazario is trying to make people understand the hardships of an average immigrant. Throughout the novel, the author uses facts of cruel, inhumane acts that are being done to immigrants. Not only are these acts evil, but in addition they are poor, starving and dehydrated. The novel mainly focuses on Enrique and the splitting of his mother, but also compares the same similarities with other people. Enrique is an ordinary Mexican boy who experiences the same hardships of all Mexican children. While Enrique is only 5 years old, his mother Lourdes leaves to the United States in order to support Enrique and his sister. Enrique goes through the troubles of splitting up with relatives, drugs, and a girlfriend. When Enrique is about 15 years old, Enrique longs for his mother and decides to leave to find her. He confronts obstacles he never knew would have to be faced. He is constantly robbed, abused, and is back where he started from. Along the way, people humbly help but some produce conflict. Local Gangs and “La Migra” (the immigration authorities) repeatedly harass Enrique but Enrique doesn’t give up. With little to no money, his mother’s phone number and his pride, Enrique longs and hopes to find his hardworking mother. Enrique’s Journey is a novel that I really enjoyed reading. Not only did I realize what Immigrants have to face, but also why they face it. Many of these immigrants only want to reunite with family or live an American dream. Immigrants devour these hardships and only use it as stepping stones. I’ve come to know that many people help these immigrants and pray for them to achieve their goal. The author does a fantastic job of creating images of these scenes. Not only can I picture what’s occurring, but also I emphasize for these immigrants hardships. I would recommend this novel to any reader. This novel is not only a good read, but informational. This novel gives explicit detail of Enrique’s journey and only makes the reader more interested.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Enrique's Journey was written by Sonia Nazario and was published by Random House in 2006. This book is based on the problems we have with immigration today. As it talks about Enrique's mom leaving Honduras to go to America it connects to how there are many people today trying to immigrate into our country for job opportunities and to earn money. Sonia also tries to the readers by writing it about a mom leaving her child which many kids now are left without mothers. The message I got from this book is that anyone can find what they are looking for by chasing after their dreams. This book is about a boy named Enrique who was only 5 when his mother went to America. After 11 years had passed he sets out on a journey from Honduras to find his mother in the U.S. It is a dangerous journey especially when he has to cross the border. He has waited so long to see his mom and does not want to be patient anymore. Enrique's main way of traveling was by riding on the sides and tops of trains. He is not the only child who would try this. Thousands of children try to make the long journey, although some succeed many fail. As Enrique is determined to find his mother he must be aware of his surroundings and use the hope inside of his heart to keep him going and guide him through, no matter what challenges are thrown at him. I liked this book because it was intriguing and very inspiring when seeing the determination Enrique has when wanting to search for his mother.  This book made me want to keep reading and see how it would end. The story gets better and better as you read it, at least it did for me. It was full of adventure and those are the types of books I enjoy because of the thrill and excitement of trying to wonder what will happen next. Enrique's Journey drew me in and made me not want to put it down. I learned from this book that immigration is a huge problem especially between South and Central America. There are thousand of people trying to cross over into America but more fail than succeed at attempting to cross. Women are the most common in immigration to earn money mainly by going to the U.S leaving behind families and friends. I would recommend this book for people of the age 14+. This book takes a little time to get into and understand but as you read on it becomes very interesting. Enrique's Journey can be similar to some persons life which can help you connect to the book. In conclusion this novel is a great reader and I highly recommend for you to grab this book and enjoy the wonderful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If anyone ever wanted to know what it is like for someone to come to this country this will let you in. I was very touched by this book and will remember it forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read Enriques Journey for school and it was an eye opener. I never imagined all that imagrants had to go through to make it to the uniyed states. They face drugs alchol rape gangs murders thiefs bandits and the NIS. It was amzing to read what children are willing to do to get to the united states. I just wished that they wrote if Maria Isabelle and Enrique got to be with their daughter again.
DeeW More than 1 year ago
The personal experience of Enrique presented with the research done by Nazario is written in such way that is emotional and real, not cold and matter of fact. Well done. My only criticism is that it jumps around and is repetitive at certain parts.
HeidiB2935 More than 1 year ago
This book is a real eye opener, told in a caring way. The characters are real and so are their experiences. Very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I originally started reading this book for a class, but once I started, I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN! I was completely captivated by Enrique and his story. It brought me to tears and I can't say that about many of the books that I've read. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. It brings awareness to some of the issues that children are facing not to far from "home". AMAZING!
bridge_gurl More than 1 year ago
I was deeply disturbed by this book. The treatment of these children is inhumane. I am moved to do something about immigration reform.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Enriques Journey was about a boy who came from Hondorus to America to try and find his mother. It was hard getting here for him there was a lot of transportation and different ways. He went from trains to subways to hitch hiking. He ended up getting beat up by a bunch of gang members on the train. He just had a bad expierence on the way here. He ends up getting here and finding his mother. He sees the mom has a kid with another man and ends up paying no attention to Enrique. He gets crushed by it and ends up going back to Hondurus and getting into drugs and alchohal and being very messed up. He has a kid with a girl that he was seeing and tries to come into America. They can't get into America, but that doesn't stop Enrique he keeps trying. Eventually at the end the family gets into America. I think the book was very good, very descriptive. It shows a lot of points of views from differnt backgrounds. I think the mother was in the wrong comepletly and Enrique kind of threw his whole life away because of what his mother did to him. The mom really messed this kid up pretty bad i thought.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For Los Angeles Times writer Sonia Nazario, the hands-on research behind her tear jerking feature articles, which follow the trails of Enrique on his quest to find his mother, was a pilgrimage to understand the perils and dangers that many children undertake in search of love and hope. Enrique's Journey is the culminating product of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning feature articles that chronicle the life-threatening path of an Honduran boy searching for his mother. Not only does it narrate the many dangers of Enrique's trek, but it also enriches readers with insight into the intuitive longing of Enrique's need to be with his mother and brings forth the very real struggles of young children traveling by El Tren de la Muerte.
zacFZ More than 1 year ago
THIS GIFT HAS NOT BEEN READ AS OF YET. (3/12/15) IT DID COME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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I have not read the book yet but am giving it a 5-Star rating... Hey, if people can rate it 1-Star having not read it...
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