TAPACHULA, Mexico - The four Washington State University journalism students interviewed a 13-year-old girl who lost much of her left leg trying to ride the Mexican train heading north known as La Bestia (known as the Beast or the Train of Death)) and observed a few Guatemalans making an illegal crossing across the border to Mexico. It was a busy and hot day on Friday.
As the students pursue their focus on immigration and trafficking issues, I occasionally spin off and talk, with the help of our intrepid translator Darine Ruiz, to secondary players at the scene.
Friday, I watched the hard work of a baker, Ricardo de Jesus, who makes muffins, cookies and bread at the shelter we visited in the morning. He and his assistant package goods in plastic bags, which are then sold to local churches. The proceeds go to support the shelter. The polvorones (cookies) are very good and several in our group bought freshly baked ones for five pesos each. The ingredients include butter, vanilla and flour.
We have two more full days ahead of us and they will be long ones as we observe more border crossings and drive about 150 miles north to Arriaga, the starting point for La Bestia.