'The Beast’ or ‘La Bestia’ as migrants call it, is a freight train that carries goods between Canada, the United States of America and Mexico. As most people who leave their countries travel with no money, ‘La Bestia” represents the only way to get to the USA border, despite this being forbidden by Mexican authorities.
This journey is tough and it can be extremely dangerous for people to travel this way, for a number of reasons. These travellers often referred to as migrants, run a high chance of being kidnapped, mugged, extorted or ending up dead in the desert before they reach their destination.
The majority of migrants that use this mode of transport come from countries with the highest levels of violence in the world. Places like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are examples of countries where the situation is so untenable that undertaking this potentially devastating journey is an only option for survival.
The vast amount of migrants that leave their countries are forced to, due to the oppression and extreme violence caused by delinquent groups that dominate entire communities. Violence in these countries is a product of decades of poverty and a lack of decent and fair policies from governments in Central America as well as from US interventions over many decades.
A secondary but still prevalent reason includes government repression and lack of opportunities.
I decided to initiate these journeys to follow Central American migrants en route to the hope of a ‘better, more peaceful’ life.
Throughout more than two and a half years travelling next to migrants, I have had the fortune to meet and travel next to Alexi, Fredy, Jonatan, Karina and her young daughter from Honduras, ‘Juancho’ from Guatemala, Ventura, Liliana and her mother from El Salvador and many others who have risked their lives to find a light of hope...