Epifanio, Memories of a Na Savi Boy

Epifanio shares his story and what it means to be a migrant, indigenous and grow up with the vicissitudes that is migration. Through autobiographical short films, we embark on the life journey of a young Mixtec boy who left his town to work in the agricultural fields, and later on, to cross the border.

Silvia: From being a farm worker to a young refugee

The story of Silvia, who went from being a day worker to refugee. She was a young Na Savi (mixteca) girl who, after leaving her indigenous community, had to face and cross many borders and barriers related to gender, class, language, identity and race. Her story begins at 8 years old.

Jumping over the Wall

Cheyo, Samuel, Javier and other adolescents tell us about the journey they have to take in order to exercise their right to migrate. The construction of borders and walls that criminalize and punish their right to mobility threaten their lives, their integrity and their right to a better life.

Collective migration as care and resistance

Many children, adolescents and youth traveled unaccompanied in the migrant caravans that crossed Mexico in 2018 and 2019. For them, the caravan was a strategy for security, protection and autonomy. It also became a space of celebration and for them to make their own decisions and discover their own identity.

The Caregivers

“The earth becomes an orphan,” say the grandmothers and auntie caregivers. They speak of the impact that migration has had on Ecuador. “The grandmothers also become orphaned,” they say to refer to the reality that their young grandchildren have left to reunite with their parents in the United States.

Those Who Stay

In Ecuador, migration is a point of departure and arrival. Life goes on for the boys and girls growing up in a context where their loved ones have decided to take the road to the North. The day to day passes, toying with the absence of those that left.

Children on the move

The multimedia you’re about to explore is like a mosaic or patchwork made of many different pieces representing the lives, experiences, and knowledge of (im)migrant children and adolescents in the Americas. The visual format we use to present these “pieces” takes the shape of a kaleidoscope, because the stories and testimonies they share, and geographies they journey through are dynamic and constantly changing. The world they create and live in transforms as they go on their journeys, both physical and imagined, across several territories and borders.

This mosaic-kaleidoscope is an ethical and political approach to demonstrate and assert that without taking into account children and adolescents, it is impossible to begin to understand the global phenomenon of migration in today’s world. This kaleidoscope is also a reaction and a stance against the historic inequalities that drive these children and adolescents out of their communities. This work is a demand for greater empathy for them when they must leave in search of their parents or other relatives; and a gesture of solidarity when they flee to build a new, alternative life.  Migrant children and adolescents on the move, challenge our preconceptions regarding childhood, innocence, maturity, dependence, geographic distance, and time. For this reason, this multimedia project is also a proposal to transform research methods on migrant children and adolescents, to empower them, and share their knowledge and experiences. 

We believe child and adolescent migration is an act of emancipation and rebellion against oppressive and violent regimes throughout the American continent. Thus, we also think their movement urges us to reflect on today’s world, to build societies where borders are not walls that separate us, but instead are spaces to meet, recognize each other and learn.