Al Jazeera: Guatemalan deportees get fresh start as volcano guides

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I reported in Chimaltenango, Guatemala at the end of April and my article was published on Al Jazeera English this weekend. I write about migrants from San José Calderas who were caught up in an immigration raid at an Iowa meat-packing plant in May 2008. It was the largest immigration raid in history. Nine years later a group of the deportees are now volcano guides.

San Jose Calderas, Guatemala  “We weren’t criminals,” says Florencio Hernandez, 55, seated on the patio of his simple home in San Jose Calderas, in Chimaltenango province, Guatemala. “We didn’t go to the United States to rob anyone. We were working.”

Hernandez migrated from this village in the Guatemalan highlands to Postville, Iowa, in 2004, and began working at Agriprocessors Inc – a kosher meat-packing plant. Three of his sons also came to the US as undocumented immigrants and began working at ‘La Agri’, as the workers called it.

Read the full article here.

Photo: Elvin Soy López, a volcano guide from San José Calderas, Guatemala looks out from the Acatenango Volcano at the Water Volcano.


1 thought on “Al Jazeera: Guatemalan deportees get fresh start as volcano guides

  1. This is such an interesting piece, such a complex issue & usually reduced & over simplified. Thank you.

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