In the last five years, over 247,000 minors have fled their countries in Central America and Mexico and traveled north without their families, only to be caught by immigration at the U.S. Border. Liliana Velásquez is one of them. You must read her story.

Dreams and Nightmares / Sueños y Pesadillas is a remarkable memoir by teenager Liliana Velásquez, who at fourteen years old fled horrific violence and poverty in Guatemala and headed out alone for the United States. On her trip through Mexico she was robbed by narcos, rode the boxcars of La Bestia, and organized thirty of her fellow Central American bus passengers to convince the Federales who had arrested them to allow them to continue on their way. Finally, she made it to the US border, and headed out across the Sonoran Desert, where she encountered death and was caught by US Immigration. After four months in a detention center, she was placed in foster care while the courts decided whether to deport her. She spent a year in a horrendous foster situation and eventually landed on her feet with a family that loves and protects her. After having to recount her story of abuse several times, the judge determined it was too dangerous for her to return home and finally granted her a green card. She graduated from high school and received two scholarships to go to a community college, where she is studying to be a nurse. She is also working to support her family back home. The book is completely in Liliana's own words She is a remarkable storyteller, and her book is filled with detail, feeling, reflection and possibility.

Each year since 2013, an average of 50,000 such unaccompanied children have been arrested at the U.S. Border, and their fate is decided by the immigration system. Liliana’s story is uniquely hers, but it is also the story of tens of thousands of children who have fled violence and poverty in their home country to make a safer life in the United States. In this time when the issue of undocumented immigrants is causing great divisions within our country, much is written about them; but little is told by them in their own voice. Liliana challenges us to look at the experience of immigration through her eyes, and to reconsider our assumptions about who immigrants are and their place in our communities.

Mark Lyons met with Liliana over forty-five times and recorded, edited and translated her story. Dreams and Nightmares / Sueños y Pesadillas is in Spanish and English.

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Dreams and Nightmares: I Fled Alone to the United States When I Was Fourteen (In English and Spanish) (Working and Writing for Change) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781602359390
Availability: Available to Ship
Published: Parlor Press - April 14th, 2017