Unmasking the Maya

Speaking Out (Continued)


“They learn to be invisible, but many return in a coffin. Others lose their lives without anyone knowing their names or who they are.

  Actor as Smuggler

“The coyotes, or smugglers, entice men and women to cross into the United States on the pretext that a more beautiful life exists in this country and they can earn a lot of money. They say that the gringos wipe their behinds with dollar bills. They say that all you have to do is enter the bathrooms, take the bills from the waste baskets, wash them off, and you can return with a pile of green dollars.

“After they cross the border they endure mistreatment by the bosses, bad pay, sickness, sleeping with cockroaches and rats. Many sleep in the streets because they can’t afford to rent a room for $100 a week.”

--Tziak Tza’pat Tz’it



Trailers in Farm

Workers in Farm

Worker in Trailer

“In Immokalee they live in trailers. Each trailer has a kitchenette, a bathroom, and three or four small rooms. Three or four people live in one room. Each one pays $500 a month for a little place to sleep.“Those with the good fortune to reach Immokalee have no guarantee of work. Every morning at 6 A.M. thousands line up in the town plaza to wait for the trucks that will carry them to the fields. When the trucks are filled, many men are left by the side of the road. Some get work only two or three days a week.

“Some save a lot of money. Even though they only work three days a week they can live and send money home to their families. Those who have been here a few years can buy a small used car. Those who don’t know how to save their money spend it on beer. They go to the cantinas, to night spots where there are prostitutes, of which there are many in this small town. They spend all the money they’ve earned.

“The ranchers own the beer stores, grocery stores, and clothing stores. The stores sell used clothes that are infested with fleas.”

-- Xun Teratol


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  Weaving Border