We Are Not From Here
Pulga has his dreams.
Chico has his grief.
Pequeña has her pride.
And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.
Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life--if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.
In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.
What worked: Breathtaking, haunting, and tragic, this story shows three Guatemalan teen's flight from their country to the United States. The horrors start when Pulga and Chico overhear the brutal murder of an elderly man in his store. His wife shares her visions of danger for the teens if they stay. She tells them to 'run'.
The story is told through the eyes of Pulga and Pequena. The scenes on the La Bestia are tragic and haunting. I ended up watching YouTube videos on la Bestia. Seeing all those people on top of the train shows the overwhelming drive these immigrants have to do anything in order to have a better life. My own great-grandmother’s Mexican family came over for the same reasons. They were searching for a better life.
Pequena’s story is raw and tragic. All it took was her looking up at the wrong time and getting the unwanted attention of a gang member. The physical and sexual abuse of these young women is real. Her story is one that really haunted me. The fear and the struggle of being around daily violence and harassment is a story shared by others. The strong writing gives these people a voice and also shows that these individuals are not just statistics but human beings.
Powerful, gut-wrenching YA that is a story that needs to be read and discussed especially under current administration. Highly recommend.