Why Do They Come to Mexico? A Honduran Refugee Speaks About His Experience
4 de noviembre de 2018Storyteller
Henry had to flee his native Honduras to avoid becoming a "murder statistic", instead he became part of the "migration statistic" when he arrived in México.
Text by Hola Code
The reasons that make people immigrate or seek refugee status are as many as there are immigrants in the world, but with the recent migrant caravan of Central Americans passing through Mexico making the headlines all over the world, this is a topic worth exploring on a more personal level. In the last three years, refugee asylum requests to México have increased in more than 600 percent, showing that the country is now a destination and not just a place for transit.
Henry, a 30 year old man from Honduras, is a great example of the type of situations that force people to flee their places of birth. He arrived in Mexico a year ago trying to escape the violence in Honduras, where he as many others felt that his life was threatened. While waiting on the resolution of his refugee application, he has become a student in Hola Code, an initiative aimed at refugees and returned migrants in Mexico that offers a five month boot camp where students get the skills to integrate in an ever growing economy that needs highly skilled programmers. Their final goal is to ensure that migrants have opportunities to contribute socially, culturally and economically to the countries of arrival; and thus change the current paradigms on immigration.
Photo: Hola Code
Whether they want to stay here or migrate further north, refugees who arrive in Mexico don't do so out of an adventurous spirit, but rather because they want to survive. They come running away from violent situations that force them to leave everything behind risking everything in order to survive, just like Henry, who wrote his testimony for our readers:
My name is Henry, I am a Honduran national seeking refuge in Mexico. I have been here in Mexico City for a year and have applied for refugee status. My case is pending.
I left Honduras not because I wanted to. I used to think that you didn’t have to leave the country in order to grow, and I thought I was doing well, but with time things got worse. Even if you had an education, it was getting harder to get a job with a salary that ensured a decent living.
Photo: Delmer Membreño
I think all Hondurans are suffering from crime, and we must defend our rights. They have killed our friends and family. I thought it was something that was never going to happen to me, but in recent years I became part of the statistics because I saw how they killed my friends and family.
It was very hard to survive that. Imagine being told that if you stay in your house they will kill you and your family. Suddenly you realize that you have no hope and the only solution is for us to emigrate to other countries to save our lives or create a better future.
I decided to migrate, risking my life. That's how I came to Mexico. I managed to get here and, thank God, I met people who have helped me a lot. Thanks to them, I met Hola Code, a program for returnees and refugees, that focuses on training people as programming engineers, in order to have a career with a high level of competitiveness in the technology sector. Now I am part of it and I am fighting to have a great future as I support my family and help in the development of a great country like Mexico.
I have become something I never thought I would ever be: migratory statistics. Yet, I decided it was better to be a migratory statistic than a murder statistic. I know, however, migration goes far beyond being simply a number; we are lives, stories, and struggles! We are not a burden for the countries that receive us. Give us the chance, the opportunity to grow and be part of the people who make a country grow.
The refugee crisis in Latin America is a very complex one, and we must be careful when passing judgement about it. Governments in North America must revise their policies to adjust to this new reality where people have no other choice but to migrate and become refugees, and support initiatives such as this to ensure the their integration.
Cover Photo by @holacode
More stories about refugees and migration:
Why Is The Media So Interested In The Migrant Caravan Headed To The US?
8 Things You're Getting Completely Wrong About Central America's Migration Crisis
This Is Why I'm Not Surprised We Have A Humanitarian Crisis In The US