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They are four, representing 50,000. 

“A Journey Toward Hope” is a new children’s book by Victor Hinojosa and Coert Voorhees, with illustrations by Susan Guevara. The tale tells the story of four unaccompanied migrant children who are making their way from Central America and through Mexico in a journey toward hope in the United States. 

Each year, approximately 50,000 unaccompanied children arrive at the border with Mexico to present themselves for asylum or related visas. Most are fleeing systemic violence that is unimaginable to their peers in the U.S.

Hinojosa is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Honors Program at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He said the book resulted from a class project. 

“I started teaching a class four years ago about the refugee situation coming from the Northern Triangle – Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras,” he said. “My students wanted to tell the story. They felt like if other people knew what they knew, they would want to help. If people knew who these kids were and knew why they were fleeing, they would want to help, too.”

Notably, the book is being published in both English and Spanish.

“My students wanted the refugee children to see themselves represented and to see themselves as agents. The children are the heroes in this book. They are the ones taking risks. They are the ones taking action because they are in very difficult circumstances at home. They are undertaking this incredibly difficult journey by themselves. We wanted children to see themselves represented in that way.”

The book also includes several pages of information for older children and parents and gives families details about how to get involved. 

“It starts with empathy,” Hinojosa said. “It starts with seeing the other as not all that different from ourselves and that’s one of the messages we want people to understand – these are kids. These are kids like the children who are reading the book. These are kids with hopes and dreams. They have their favorite foods and favorite colors and animals. They are not as different as we think they are. Once we humanize a situation like this, I think that gives the impetus we need to act and to help.”

Hispanic Heritage Month continues through Oct. 15. Learn more and find online events for families at https://hispanicheritagemonth.gov. Learn more about “A Journey Toward Hope” at https://www.sixfootpress.com/a-journey-toward-hope. 

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Read or Share this story: https://www.upstateparent.com/story/news/2020/10/19/a-journey-toward-hope-tells-story-migrant-children/3711029001/