Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary. As the United States continues to build a wall between itself and Mexico, Which Way Home shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the United States.
The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico en route to the U.S. on a freight train they call “ The Beast ”. These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow. They are the ones you never hear about – the invisible ones.
Kevin, a canny, 14-year-old Honduran, who is traveling through Mexico to get to the United States. His reason: to find a job and send money back to his mother, Lupe. Kevin hopes to buy her a house so that she can leave an abusive relationship. Lupe hopes he will find work, or some U.S. citizen will adopt him. Kevin wants to go to Manhattan. But the trip he takes is a revelation to Kevin – he was prepared for the harshness of the journey, but the violence that he experiences and witnesses takes its toll. Unexpectedly, he reexamines the high cost migrants pay for their common dream of a better life in the United States.
Fito, 13-year-old Honduran whose mother abandoned him when he was very young, lives with his impoverished grandmother, who has a job making cigars. He is traveling to the U.S. to look for work and hopes to be adopted.
Yurico, a 17-year-old Mexican who ran away from his mother, has lived on the streets of Tapachula, Chiapas since age seven. Yurico proclaims that his life has been spent begging and sleeping on streets, thieving and abusing drugs; sometimes he makes money by washing buses at the city depot. Yurico wants a life free of drugs and violence, and is traveling to the U.S. to find a loving family.
Jairo, a 14-year-old Mexican whose father never accepted him. He has lived on the streets of Chiapas since his mother was killed a year ago. Schooling is very important to him, but he cannot currently afford to continue his education. Jairo has decided to go to Laredo, Texas to find employment, and then return to Mexico with money to hire a tutor.
Jose, a nine-year-old Salvadoran, lives with his aunt, and has not seen his mother Rosa since she left to work in the U.S. three years ago. Hoping to live with her, he traveled through Mexico on a bus with a smuggler. When Mexican immigration officials boarded the bus, the smuggler abandoned Jose, who was then taken to a detention center.
Olga and Freddy, nine-year-old Hondurans being taken to the U.S. by smugglers, travel on Mexican freight trains. Olga is trying to get to her mother and sisters in Minnesota, while Freddy wants to reunite with his father. Both have witnessed many accidents while riding the trains, and hope that God will bless their journey.
Juan Carlos, a 13-year-old Guatemalan, left a letter for his mother Esmeralda, stating that he was going to the U.S. to help her and his siblings. Juan Carlos’ father abandoned the family years ago, so he feels it is his responsibility to provide for them. He also wants to find his father in New York, and confront him about why he’s forgotten them.
WHICH WAY HOME also features the families of two young migrants who did not survive their journey. The bodies of 13-year-old Eloy and his 16-year-old cousin Rosario were found separately in the desert. Their deaths, along with the other stories of those featured in the film, underscore the extremely dangerous journey undertaken by these often-invisible children, who are making adult decisions to change their lives