Twenty people were shuffling next to a river. It was twilight, and the water was loud when a boat glided across the river. In the boat, there were none of my family members, but there were five other people that I didn’t know. We were quiet when we were crossing the river. The boat was rocking back and forth because there was too much weight, and after we crossed, we started walking. We walked for about nine days and at nights we stayed in a house.   

The coyotes whispered, “Be quiet.” 

“What’s going to happen if we don’t stay quiet?” I asked him.

“We all could get caught by the immigration,” he said.  

Earlier that year, my mother had decided to bring me to the U.S. because there was a war in Honduras between the GANGMS13 and BARRIO18. Often, I would see them fighting with bats in abandoned houses across from the park where we were playing.  Sometimes, I would hear gunshots while I was watching the Honduran soccer team play on television. My grandmother told my mom to bring me to New York because it was dangerous for me in Tela. My mom had been in New York for about nine years. The last time I saw her was when I was about three or four years old.  I remember the day she left. We stood outside the house on the porch and she looked down at me.

“Goodbye. I will see you soon. Okay, son?” she said.

“Are you going to bring me to the U.S. with you later?” I asked.

“Yes, of course, I will never leave you,” she promised.

“Okay mom, see you,” I said.  

After she left I started crying.

 In Honduras, I was alone for nine years with my grandfather and my grandmother. At the beginning of our separation, I was sad. Every time my mom called home, I answered the phone really quickly, and the first thing I asked her was when was she going to bring me to the U.S with her. After some time passed, I became disappointed because I thought she wasn’t going to bring me to the U.S with her, but after more time passed, I forgot that she was going to bring me at all.

But now, I was in a safe house. I was quiet like the coyote instructed me, but immigration still caught me.  Afterward, they took me to the immigration center for two hours, and after that, they sent me to a house that had a lot of kids who had immigrated too. I was in this house for eight days and on the eighth day, my mother had to send money to the people in the house so that I could get to her. She sent the money and that night I took an airplane to New York. When me and some kids that were in the house arrived, my mother was outside the airport waiting for me, and when I went out of the airport, I saw her and I hugged her tightly and started crying.

When I think back at that moment I feel sad because of all the bad things that are happening right now in some countries and that some people have to come and make the decision whether or not they should cross the border. That is a hard decision because it is dangerous. Some people think that it is easy to cross the river but is not. I believe that if someone is in danger in their country they should make the decision of crossing the border and maybe that could take them out of the danger they are and it could change their life.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Crossing The River by Briant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Louise 1 week ago

    Dear Briant,

    I am touched by your story, “Crossing the River,” because even though I knew that you had to immigrate alone at a young age, I didn’t really understand until I heard the story from you.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is “Often, I would see them fighting with bats in abandoned houses across from the park where we were playing.” I think this is really good setting description because the details support the central message of your story: Honduras was too dangerous to stay in.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because I think you are an incredible writer! And I bet you have lots of stories to tell. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Ms. Bauso

  2. Erick Orellana 2 weeks ago

    Dear Briant:
    I am Erick, I wanted to tell you that you wrote an excellent story about how you came to the United States as a step as you felt at the time “ Crossing The River,” because Your story is very good because as you tell it as how it happened because there were 20 people who were in that boat and it is a lot of weight for a boat.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is that when you say that in Honduras you were at home watching television and listening to sticks everywhere I think this is true because the same thing happened in my country in El Salvador you were in your house very quiet and it restrains you eight shots everywhere.

    This reminds me of an experience I had once that you were on the soccer field and other people were playing soccer, and two men came out firing from other people and we had to run to the house and the sounds could be heard.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because We have similar stories from our countries and I think this story is perfect.

  3. Ishak 2 weeks ago

    Hello, Briant
    I am very impressed of your post, “Crossing The River” because, you shows the denarius decision of your life. I also feel you, because your story it’s can be similar to my story.
    one sentence you wrote that stands out for me is “When me and some kids that were in the house arrived, my mother was outside the airport waiting for me, and when I went out of the airport, I saw her and I hugged her tightly and started crying.” I think this is touching because, I can imagine how it’s hard. Honestly I learned a lot of your personality.
    This remind me of an experience I had once, when I escaped Yemen after the Civil War start. I think my journey was safe, because I am a legitimate immigrant, but it was more dangerous because we were crossing a Sea.
    Thanks for your writing I look forward to seeing what you write next, because telling your personal story or show a moment of your story it really shows your personality.

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