Karen Caballero was assaulted by a “unexplained heaviness in the chest” on the night of Saturday, June 25, 2022. The boys no longer communicated.
Two days later, around 8:00 at night, he received a news alert from the Honduran channel HCH on his cell phone. Tens of migrants they had dead heat inside a truck that was located near the city of San Antonio, in the state of Texas.
Karen searched Google and Facebook for the phone numbers of the Honduran consulates in USAfrom hospitals and police stations, to find out if her two sons and her daughter-in-law They were on the list of victims.
It was 2:00 in the morning and no one was answering.
Margie Paz Grajera (24), Alejandro Andino Caballero (23) and Fernando Andino Caballero (18) are three of the 53 migrants who died inside a trailer that transported 62 people from Mexico, Guatemala, The Savior Y Honduras.
They died after being locked inside a trailer at 40 degrees Celsius no vent.
“How can I be such a mother overprotectivecould I let my children happen to them what happened to them?”, Karen asked in conversation with the BBC. “If my children did not return by 10:00 at night, I was able to walk out to look for them until I brought them home.”.
Karen speaks with calm and poise, although she admits that she has not had time to mournoverwhelmed by calls from so many family members, friends and journalists.
“Anyone thinks: ‘This woman doesn’t hurt, this woman doesn’t suffer’. But the truth is that I have to Keep strong because I have to solve this. As a mom, I still have to bring my kids home.”.
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Karen remembers that Alejandro and Margie they became boyfriends when they studied together at an Adventist school in Las Vegas de Santa Bárbara, a town located 200 kilometers from the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.
“The first year they were married, they were married under the wedding tree at school, with paper rings. They were 17 and 18 years old”, says Karen.
Margie entered the Faculty of Economics at the Autonomous University of Honduras, and Alejandro enrolled in Marketing at the University of San Pedro Sula.
Every day they traveled more than 100 kilometers to San Pedro Sula, a couple of hours by bus they had to take during the early hours of the morning to get to the first class on time.
“I used to go with Alejandro when it was his turn to leave at dawn for San Pedro. He told me: ‘Mom, I’m sorry. I’m a man’. And I answered: ‘You don’t have to be sorry. I am your mom’”.
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a better job
Margie and Alejandro finished the race and stayed in San Pedro Sula. Surely there would be more chances to get good jobs than in the village. The best opportunity they found was to work as operators in a call center.
Karen celebrated when Margie and Alejandro bought their first refrigerator. Each applianceeach piece of furniture, reinforced the conviction that they had made the right decision to study at the university and dedicate themselves to building a professional career.
Over time, the couple’s salaries became so precarious that Karen and her mother, Alejandro’s grandmother, reconsidered the family budget to help them with groceries and money to cover the rent each month.
Alejandro’s grandmother had a restaurant buffet food in Las Vegas in Santa Barbara, where Karen learned to run the business. She later set up her own restaurant, but it went bankrupt during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Immigrate to the United States
The family economic situation tightened after the pandemic. Karen had to help her daughter Daniela and her seven-month-old baby. Fernando, the youngest of the three, decided to drop out of school during the lockdown.
Unlike his older brothers, Fernando did not want to go to school. college. He dreamed of playing soccer like Lio Messi. Though she didn’t apply herself academically, Karen admired her ambition, a drive more akin to Grandma’s business mentality than to Alejandro and Margie’s academic vocation.
“imagine mommyIf there is no work here for those who study, what will I have left that I did not study?”, Fernando asked Karen when he told her of his intention to emigrate to the United States.
Although his children were Adults and made their own decisions, Karen knew she could persuade Fernando to stay in Las Vegas, Santa Barbara and help out at Grandma’s restaurant. All had once worked in the kitchen or at the store’s cash register.
However, Karen agreed with her son. A world of possibilities it would open once i crossed the border between Mexico and the United States.
The Initial proposition was that Fernando traveled alone. But Alejandro and Margie were encouraged to accompany him.
Alejandro was the closest thing to a father for his younger brother, Karen tells the BBC. Their equanimity and temper they made him the person everyone in the family turned to when there was a problem to solve.
The travel option to the United States by plane was ruled out from the start. Neither had a visa or enough money to buy the tickets. They made a family collection and looked for the people who would help them get to the United States.
In a telephone interview with the BBC, Karen refused to reveal details about the travel arrangements: how much it had cost, how they planned it or what was the route.
Karen, her children, and her daughter-in-law took a taxi to Guatemala to say goodbye before they continued on their way to Mexico. They toured the city of Antigua, and were amazed by the clothing of the indigenous peoples. They were moved to see how the women carried their children on their backs.
Margie, Alejandro, and Fernando followed the trail through Mexico. For 20 days they communicated with Karen through WhatsApp to update you on the news of the trip.
Karen still doesn’t know when they will be returnees the bodies to Honduras.
While chatting with the BBC, he received a call: “It’s from the Presidential House from here. I call you back”.