Nearly 500 immigrant children arrive at Fort Bliss

Kristopher Rivera:

A crucifix necklace hangs from a boy’s neck as he sits on his bed occupied with an art project inside a Fort Bliss complex on Thursday.

Faith seems to be a driving force here, as unaccompanied child migrants seek to get to a better place, leaving behind their culture and homes. Inside the dinner hall of the complex, a drawing of the Costa Rican flag had writing in Spanish that read, “A country of many beautiful women.”

Fort Bliss’ Doña Ana Range Complex, near Chaparral, N.M., is temporarily a shelter to nearly 500 unaccompanied children. The children made the dangerous journey from Central America; primarily El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to either escape violence in their home country, seek better economic opportunities or reunite with family already in the U.S. Central American countries have some of the highest murder rates in the world. The journey puts children at risk of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse.