La Brigada Migrante

in Americas by

Central American Migrants Delay Journey North to Join Mexican Earthquake Relief
Juchitán, Oaxaca, Mexico, September 7th, 2017
Mexico City, Mexico, September 19th, 2017

We have a lot of earthquakes
in Guatemala too. It’s all
our volcanes. All the cracks
in nuestra tierra. Sometimes
when Santiaguito spits
out a lot of ashes you can
see the santitos shaking
on the altars, fire jumping
on top of the velas. Pero, this
was a lot worse. When you
reached up to grab the walls,
they moved away from you.
Hay metal in these buildings
at the Centro. That’s why
they’re still standing, pero,
en Juchitán the buildings
are old, like in San Sabastian
el pueblo natal de mi papá.
That’s why they fell down
on all those people, pobrecitos,
while they were sleeping.
Primero Dios, we can still
save some of them. We are
part of the rescue, they call us
“La Brigada Migrante.” Somos
hermanos y creo que sólo
El Pueblo salvará El Pueblo.
We want to help because
we know what it’s like
to be hungry. To have
nothing. To watch
our homes turn to dust.


Read More:

How to help Mexico’s earthquake victims [LA Times]
Migrants find work amid the rubble after Mexico earthquake [NBC News]
Migrantes detienen su camino hacia EEUU para ayudar a afectados por terremoto en Oaxaca, México [Univision]

Abigail Carl-Klassen has been published in ZYZZYVA, Cimarron Review, Guernica, Aster(ix) and Post Road. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets 2015. She earned an MFA from the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual Creative Writing Program and taught at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas El Paso.

Photo by July Brenda Gonzales Callapaza.