HONDURAS (NewsNation Now) — Poverty, crime and political corruption are some of the reasons migrants make the dangerous journey to seek asylum in the United States.
The accounts of life in a country like Honduras paint a mural of hopelessness depicting in bright colors — the many reasons for leaving to seek a better life.
“Mainly the decision of migrating is acknowledging that you don’t have the conditions to live with human dignity in the country,” said Rafel.
“Jobs are scarce for everyone in the country,” said Methodist Pator Hector Lainez.
“There is a breaking point and society’s tired, society is tired and we have no hope,” said Juanse Lainez, a private school teacher.
“It’s a structural crisis. It’s a cultural, social, political crisis. Now a migratory crisis as well,” said social researcher Rocio Walkiria.
These are the roots of migration, despair that leads to departure, like the gender-based violence that Walkiria says is prevalent.
“So many Honduran women who are dealing with domestic violence decide to migrate away from that situation,” Walkiria said.
Lainez, who pastors in Ciudad Espana outside the capital of Tegucigalpa, sees an economic problem.
“The loss of jobs nationwide is a huge reason for people to continue to migrate,” Lainez said.
Meanwhile, there are gangs that mercilessly prey on young boys and men.
“At 13, a friend of mine started teaching me some bad ways on the street. I started as a lookout. They saw potential in me and told me I should be part of them because I was sharp,” Carlos, a former gang member, also known as a pandilla, recalled.
Carlos found God and left the streets but not the country.
“Many times these people got involved with gangs and it doesn’t end well. Maybe the gangs are looking to kill them and decide to migrate,” Carlos said. “Some other times gang members who are at war with other gangs decide to leave before they get killed”
But there are people in Hondurus working daily to tackle the issues that cause migration. At El Hogar, Norma Andino has worked with children for 30 years.
“It is definitely part of our goal: to help these kids thrive in their country,” Andino said.
El Hogar is a boarding school that caters to kids like Guillermo, who says he has nothing back home in San Pedro Sula, but he still wants to stay in his country.
El Hogar also offers a technical school, where students can receive auto mechanic lessons, learning a trade when there may not be a job.
While there is hustle and bustle in life in places like Villanueva Cortez in Honduras, there’s also the idea that so much has to do with the poverty in the country. However, it’s not just the poor that need to be responsible for making change. It’s those of privilege.
“It’s just because, you know, by fate that we’re born in a stable home, and they have the means to make a change,” Juanse Lainez said.
NewsNation spoke with Juanse Lainez, who teaches in Tegucigalpa; he’s not related to Pastor Hector. When asked who, if any, of his students stayed to make the county better, he immediately answered Rafael Jerez.
“Okay, we have had the opportunities, but we need to contribute for the other people to have them too. So if we leave, nothing is going to change,” Jerez said.
Jerez, who is a lawyer, says that a corrupt system keeps a vicious status quo in place in his country.
“It’s how can you make people understand that if corruption is a part of the way in which we live, the country cannot progress,” Jerez said.
In a land of so much juxtaposition, Juanse Lainez is also a bassist in the heavy metal band, Delirium.
“Heavy metal relates exactly to this place for so many reasons. Our songs talk about the discrepancy of justice in our country, talks about the big gap between the rich and the poor,” he explained.
Lainez says Delirium’s 2016 song “Honduras” has a lyric that describes his country best: “Tierra di nadie botin de bandidos, which is land of no one. But there’s a big treasure if you belong to the people that actually have the means,” he explained.