My Dad and I
Noel* is a 15-year-old from Honduras. The last time that he was home was April 8, 2019. He and his father fled due to “bad people” that wanted to harm them. Noel shared that when their situation worsened in Honduras, his dad asked Noel’s thoughts about leaving and traveling north. “The threats from the bad people would continue and I knew that there was no other option,” Noel explained.
Noel travelled with his father toward the U.S.-Mexico border. When asked how he felt during the journey, he said, “On one end, happy, because I was with my dad and we were no longer afraid that something was going to happen to us, and on another end we suffered a lot … we went hungry … but, I felt safe because I was with God and my dad.”
When Noel and his dad were able to enter the U.S. in May 2019, he felt in danger because he had never been separated from his father. At one point, he did not know if his dad was even still alive. “That day, I thought I was going to lose my dad…but he was ‘just’ beaten,” Noel shared.
Being returned to Ciudad Juárez under the Migrant Protection Protocols, better known as Remain in Mexico, has been really difficult for Noel and his dad. With the beginning of the pandemic, the situation has worsened and he is very worried. The restrictions in Ciudad Juárez are difficult to follow given that Noel’s dad lost his job due to a cold that was suspected to be COVID-19.
Noel is a noble young man, honest, kind and very smart. We can only imagine the things he has seen and lived through during this difficult and dangerous journey. However, it is clear that Noel and his father share a close and genuine bond. He described his relationship with his father as, “It’s a good one, we get along very well. If he has, we both have, and if I have, the same. We talk, he gives me advice and if he is able to, we go out. I am proud…and feel safer because I’m with my dad. There are days where I am sad because I miss my mom and my sisters, and he counsels me. He doesn’t like to see me sad.”
Noel, with his wisdom, wants to share one last message, “May all people not have despair because God knows what he will do and what he has prepared for us.”
*using pseudonyms to protect identity