To Those Who Have Died in the Desert

To Those Who Have Died in the Desert

In memory of those who went to look for a better life, yet only encountered death . . .
In memory of those who risked everything and lost everything. . .
Of those who went with hope in their eyes and challenge in their souls . . .
The sun burned them and the desert devoured them
And the dust erased their names and faces.

In memory of those who never returned . . .
We offer these flowers and say with the deepest respect . . .
Your thirst is our thirst,
Your hunger is our hunger,
Your pain is our pain,
Your anguish, bitterness, and agony
Are also ours.

We are a cry for justice that no one would ever have to leave their land,
their beliefs,
their dead,
their children,
their parents,
their family,
their roots,
their culture,
their identity.

From out of the silence comes a voice that speaks. . .
So that no one will ever have to look for their dream in other lands,
So that no one would ever have to go to the desert
and be consumed by loneliness.

A voice in the desert cries out . . .
Education for all!
Opportunity for all!
Jobs for all!
Bread for all!
Freedom for all!
Justice for all!

We are a voice that will not be lost on the desert . . .
That insists that the nation give equal opportunity to a dignified and fruitful life to all its children.


A prayer written on the front wall of CAMYN, a migrant shelter in Altar, Mexico, where migrants often stay before beginning their journey across the border.