Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

About the Author & Objectives of Enrique’s Journey.
From the incredible photojournalism of Don Bartletti –the original storyteller of Enrique’s journey comes the 2007 literary disambiguation of Enrique’s Journey first published in New York by Sonia Nazario. The novel comes from an umbrella project Nazario began in the Los Angeles Times series. The series won great acclimation (Pulitzer Prize), and was recently run in our own Comical Appeal. Upon reading the book, further research was done about Sonia Nazarios White Station Middle appearance to speak about Enriques Journey. Most of the time, you cannot judge a book by its cover, yet this one you can the photo of the young boy on top of the train, is actually Enrique. He was first captured by photographs. And a picture is worth a thousand words –perhaps more than a grand due to the power this picture holds. But somehow, Nazario is able to fit the pictograph into a novel of 295 pages. She genuinely does justice to Bartletti’s photographic masterpiece, and takes on much of his dream. Yet Most of the latter half of the book is done using her own research and investigation, spending a lot of time in North Carolina and Honduras to get the truth scope. She intends to make the reader feel like Enrique, and feel what the average Latino emigrant goes through. My mom wrote her PhD on the migration of Latino’s to the Unites States. After reading her statistics and reading firsthand what Enrique went through it is easy to put two and two together. Amidst the confrontations of Latino emigration, I believe Nazario wrote this true life account just in time.
Summary & Themes.
The odyssey of Enrique, a young Honduran boy is a powerful look at the true trials and tribulations faced by many immigrants hoping to call America home. The story starts out when Enrique is abandoned by his mother –who leaves in search of the “American Dream” when he is only Five years old. Enrique and Belky are devastated, and Enrique’s life takes a turn for the worse when in response to his mother’s absence and perhaps depression, he resorts to the only thing that will tuck him in at night –drugs. But every day Enrique hopes to hear his mother say that she will finally return home. Enrique clearly struggles from mental issues of abandonment, and separation anxiety and soon tries to find another that will comfort him. Enrique falls madly in love with Maria Isabella. They share a very special bond, but perhaps this is not enough for Enrique. Fearful of being abandoned once again by somebody he loves, he impregnates Maria.
Bewildered and ostracized by his family because of his drug problems and related ongoing issues, Enrique finds that he can only resort to one thing –his destiny lies in finding his mother. The story then follows Enrique’s dangerous trek across the country to reunite with his Mother in Dallas. Enrique is not only on a physical journey, but a journey of self discovery. He is forced to grow into a man very quickly by dealing with a slue of true life confrontations facing many immigrants every day. Perhaps the most difficult of confrontations is not having a Coyote to get him across the border, a problem that leaves Enrique susceptible to an array of violent offenses including the brutal mugging at the hands of six robbers atop the train. Nazario uses location as the main theme in this novel when discussing Enrique’s perils, but perhaps there is a less prevalent undertone in the human environment interaction that Enrique goes through. One of the most dangerous things is the man against nature theme when Enrique deals with lands and objects foreign to his eyes. When after the perilously long journey is over, and he has finally reunited with his mother, Enrique finds that maybe, his journey has just begun. Why? Because amidst the reuniting with his mother, he is still angry and resentful towards her, and takes his frustration out by sniffing glue again. Even though he has moved a million miles away, he is still right back in the same situation as he was before. Confronted with the irony of the situation, he finally realizes that he too has abandoned his family. Enrique takes a turn and begins working to be able to return back to Honduras and be with his daughter reunited once and for all.

Universal Lessons & End Note.
Too many times I have seen firsthand the travesties of this story gone wrong. I have seen families ripped apart –much like Enrique’s almost was. It may seem crazy, but Enrique’s journey is a fairy tale compared to the norm. Enrique was an anomaly. I have seen wars fought between Guatemalans and Mexicans over “The American Dream”. Every person that takes the first step towards such a dream knows what they have begun. They know what they will face, and far too often it is abuse, slavery, and death.
The sad part is that people will cheer Enrique from Honduras to Miami, but by the time the last page is flipped, they will be ready to deny every undocumented person that crosses our border the very thing that was hoped to Enrique. When the reader jumps on Enrique’s bandwagon, maybe they should stay longer than the next time they see an illegal and bring to mind any preconceived notions, because the next Hispanic person the reader persecutes might just be Enrique.





Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Steve33 said...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm
love sonia
 
sandie said...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 12:25 am
Incredible story, great article.
 
aaan9651 said...
May 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm
Wow. Just wow.
 
fat456 said...
May 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm
Very moving, especially your personal experience.
 
keys4 said...
May 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm
I read this book, and I  totally agree, its sad the way people are treated just beacuse they are different.
 
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