Enrique’s Journey chronicles the life of a young boy who is from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and his quest to reunite with his mother who left him at the age of five to find work in the United States.
Enrique’s mother, Lourdes struggles in Honduras to support her younger children, Belky and Enrique. She knows that she will not be able to send her children to school past the third grade, and does not want them to grow up as she did, in extreme poverty. Like many other single Latina mothers in the recent decades, Lourdes leaves her home and her family to travel to the United States so that she might send money home for her children.
Young Enrique has no idea why his mother has left, and his family in Honduras does not give him straight answers. Over the years, Enrique is shuffled from one family home to another, while his sister Belky attends a good school and is well cared for by their aunt. Enrique is forced to sell food and spices when still a child, in order to help pay for family expenses. He lives with his paternal grandmother for most of his young life, but is eventually kicked out of her home when he begins to rebel. Frustrated with his mother, his own issues of abandonment, and the death of his beloved uncle, Enrique turns to drugs for comfort. His family and his girlfriend, María Isabel, try to intervene but make little headway.
Enrique begins his journey to the United States because he feels abandoned and thinks that his mother is the only one would accept him and truly love him. He travels on top of trains, changing trains many times from Honduras to the US-Mexico border. He is caught many times and thrown off the train by immigration officers. He is robbed and beaten. Read the heart-breaking story to find out if Enrique is succesful in reaching the United States, if he finds his mother, and how many attempts it takes him to reach the United States without getting caught.
Throughout this book, the author exposes the harsh realities of immigration. The author states that this book is not fiction and in many ways, it is her own true story. She suggests that separation between a mother and her child, as experienced by Lourdes and Enrique, is not beneficial in the long run. Resentment, anger, and frustration leas to lasting emotional damage and misunderstandings. It is a really good book, though it is a very sad, yet, true story.