An exhibition opening tomorrow in New York documents the drama of the emigration of children in Latin America through their testimonies, oral or written, as well as photos, in a project that shows the public for the first time.
“The Children of the North in Movement Across America” is a compilation of stories of children from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, which are shown until September 30 at the Museo de Barrio and with this exhibition tries to dedicate each year that month to the migratory issue.
The exhibition is the result of a decade of research work by six anthropologists and three photographers, each working separately, and is based on interviews and workshops held at humanitarian shelters, detention centers and transit areas in the hometowns of children and their new homes in the USA.
“It is a project that seeks to give a more complete and profound look at the phenomenon of child migration that usually occurs from children when children are detained, deported or seek refuge,” said a Mexican anthropologist and project coordinator, Valentina Glockner .
Two reasons to take these children to emigrate: to reunite with their father or mother and to escape the violence in their countries.
Minors face multiple forms of violence: sickness, hunger, psychological violence, abuses of power, extortion, kidnappings, road accidents, abuse and trade. In this transit by sea, air and land, accompanied by coyotes or solos sexual abuse, torture, the possibility of falling into trafficking networks and child slavery and also death, he says.
“The intention is to show that immigration process from the road, its arrival in the United States, and always return and deportation,” says Glockner and emphasizes that children are impacted by inequality caused by global policies and regions that expel from their home regions
The exhibition shows that it is not only a question of reaching the United States, but also an emigration associated with child labor, family reunification, expulsion from countries of origin because of violence, Barnard College in New York.
“There are children whose goal is not to reach the United States and stay in Central America, Mexico.” Said the anthropologist, who plans to publish a book on this research.
The photos of “Los Niños del Norte en Movimiento Across America” show children, some very small children, long and long working days, exposed to pesticides and fertilizers, in extreme climates and loaded with large pesos in agricultural estates in Mexico along with their parents, in the internal migration in that country.
Juan Pablo, 11 years old, from Michoacán, is one of many less laborers. “The first time I came because I felt bad in my town for my little sister and so barefoot and when I look at it I get sad I came to work to buy something secondhand for her Is that in my village there are only new clothes for the rich “says the testimony that is part of the exhibition.
The deaths of child laborers can be twice the national average and suffer more diseases than non-journalists, have exposed the exhibition.
The photos also include children in detention centers in Mexico, others on their long road to reach the United States. or the chosen destination.
There are also drawings through which they express their experiences as emigrants, or their vision of the US border. and the public, who do not have to pay to see this exhibition, can also read or hear their stories.