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Little Kangaroos

8 August 2007

Lorena Diaz de Leon sends along her thoughts from Chicago —

Little Kangaroos

There is a growing trend of young, Central-American children crossing the border into Mexico. Many of these children are unaccompanied and leave their home country in hopes of either staying in Mexico to find meager employment or continue their trip to cross into the US. These children not only face the obstacles of having to survive the treacherous conditions of passing borders illegally, but once they have settled, they must struggle to find jobs such as selling gums and cigarettes on the streets. These “little kangaroos”–they are called this for they carry their tray of goods for sale across their fronts– are children that are either escaping worse circumstances at home or are attempting to reunite with their relatives. A majority of these youths are boys.


These children often stay in the border towns they cross into and the Mexican public has contrasting views on their stay for they feel that these children contribute to crime in the area. According to a study from the Catholic Relief Services, as many as 5,000 children crossed into Mexico, a dramatic rise from 2004 where only about 1,000 children migrated. These “little kangaroos” suffer deeply. They hunger for a better life yet to gain this they are exposed to the perils of a journey replete with exhaustion and abuse.

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