Cen­tral Americans still pur­sue U.S. dream

The News-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

A near-death ex­pe­ri­ence in the Ari­zona desert a year ago won’t de­ter Fran­cisco Prez from an­other at­tempt to mi­grate to the U.S., nor will an in­creased po­lice pres­ence in south­ern Mex­ico.

The 23-year-old Gu­atemalan teacher and auto me­chanic hopes to set out again soon to re­pay the $7,000 he owes from his first trip, when he and two other young men got lost for a week in the desert be­fore being res­cued by the U.S. border patrol.

On the sev­enth day, fac­ing se­vere de­hy­dra­tion, the group re­sorted to drinking their own urine.

“Each of us uri­nated in a bot­tle and then strained it with the cor­ner of our pants,” said Prez, rub­bing his hands to­gether as he re­called the day he thought would be his last.

Prez spent two days in a U.S. hos­pi­tal be­fore being returned to Gu­atemala. Dur­ing his short stay in Ari­zona, though, he caught a glimpse of houses with man­i­cured lawns, or­derly roads and fancy stores. Those images are like a siren’s song, calling him to what he be­lieves would be a bet­ter life.

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