Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America

Regular price $ 19.95

Edited by Steven Mayers and Jonathan Freedman

Haymarket Books

4/16/2019, paperback

SKU: 9781608466184


As the Trump administration continues to separate families and hold immigrant children in cages, Solito, Solita is a powerful reminder of the resilience of migrant children. It illuminates the ongoing abuses that tens of thousands of child refugees from the Northern Triangle of Central America face every year in attempt to seek refuge from life-threatening conditions in their home countries.

The number of unaccompanied children crossing the US-Mexico border increased 90 percent between 2013 and 2014. The total number that crossed the border in 2014 is estimated at between 60,000-90,000 children. Many of these youth are held indefinitely within detention centers in the United States and sent back to their home countries, where they often face the threat of death by gangs, as well as severe poverty. Considering the current anti-immigrant fervor ignited by Donald Trump, this collection speaks to a compelling public interest to make the voices of migrantes jovenes be heard. Only when their unique, authentic stories are read may their isolation--"solito solita"--be redeemed.

By amplifying the voices of some of these youth--from adolescents to teenagers--this book brings to readers the voices of a largely unheard population and serves to illuminate and humanize the plights of Central American youth refugees. It sheds light upon the conditions of these journeys, the migrants' dreams for the future, and explores the complex social, political, and economic conditions that drive these unaccompanied child migrants to leave their homes in Central America and make the treacherous journey across Mexico and into the United States.

About the Editors:

Steven Mayers is a writer, oral historian, and professor at the City College of San Francisco. He has interviewed Central American migrants for over a decade. His master's thesis explored ways in which fiction can challenge historical accounts of the past, and his dissertation, analyzing the stories of Central American war refugees, focused on the themes of identity, home, and forgiveness.

Jonathan Freedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and mentor with more than thirty years' experience reporting from Central America, Mexico, and the US border. His six-year series of investigative editorials for the San Diego Tribune was influential in the passage of the landmark 1986 US immigration reforms that authorized 2.7 million undocumented immigrants to become permanent legal residents.