His name is Juan García Aguilar. He is 38. The girl's name is Yolanda Méndez Torres. She is 11. It is the summer of 1998. Over the next six years, he will take her over 5,000 miles, from the tropical scrub brush hills of Oaxaca into the Sonoran Desert and to the United States. She will be a child laborer in North Carolina. In Georgia and Tennessee, she will live trapped in motel rooms while Juan works. And in Dallas, she will sleep in a closet and decide whether to murder him or escape.
This short account, which first appeared as an award-winning series of articles in The Dallas Morning News in 2006, chronicles Yolanda's crossing to a new life of hope.
|Publisher:||The Dallas Morning News|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||532 KB|
About the Author
Stella M. Chávez, a former reporter for The Dallas Morning News, is a regional outreach specialist for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Chávez began her career at The (Lakeland) Ledger covering small towns in Polk County, Fla., and the migrant farm worker community. She also wrote the paper’s first weekly column about diversity called “Faces of Polk.” After leaving The Ledger, she joined the staff of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where she covered local government as well as immigrant communities. She helped cover several national stories, including the Elian Gonzalez saga and the 2000 election debacle. A native Texan, Chávez graduated in 1995 from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.
Lara Solt joined The Dallas Morning News as a staff photographer in 2003. Her intimate storytelling has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, World Press Photo, The National Press Photographers Association, The Society of Professional Journalists, Military Reporters and Editors, the Lone Star EMMY Advanced Media Awards, and others. In 2007, her work for “Yolanda’s Crossing” was recognized with the Dart Award for Excellence in Reporting on Victims of Violence and the Online Award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. The project was also a runner-up for the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism for distinguished coverage of disadvantaged children and families. Lara is a graduate of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communications. She lives in Dallas with her husband and two, four-legged furry people.