Lucia's Letter describes one Guatemalan teenager's trip with a coyote from Guatemala through Mexico to southwest Florida. The story is a composite of several local Mayan women's experiences of becoming a coyote's slave. All of the women were raped, starved and drugged during the trip and then sold when they arrived in the U.S. Some ended up as indentured slaves in the vegetable fields and/or in brothels. Others were sold to men they were forced to marry. The letter was recorded in Spanish, English, two Mayan languages, Creole, and Mixteco. It was taken to rural parts of Guatemala and distributed to 62 indigenous villages on CD. The hope is to warn other young women about the dangers they face if they decide to immigrate to the States via a coyote. This documentary tells the story of this effort through the women, trying to use Lucia's Letter to convince mothers to stop sending their daughters to the states. We ask women in Guatemala if it would stop them. And we ask one of the women who helped write and voice the letter if her travels were worth what she went through twenty years ago.
Listen to the Documentary Here:
Mama, listen to me. This is a letter for you, Mama, and for my little sisters.
Mama, I am going to tell you the story of my life since I crossed the frontier to arrive in the States (U.S.). While you thought that I was going to work to earn money and escape poverty.
Do you remember, Mama, when I left the house, I left with a blouse, pants and a pair of sneakers, and no sweater, because you could not buy me one? I took my leave from you as if it was for a short trip. While we said goodbye, why did I have to go so far away from you, from my childhood home, from my family? In that moment I felt much sadness, much fear, because I was already with strange people. For me, they provoked fear. Every moment that we moved further away caused me more fear and sadness. Mama, you were so far from me and no one could protect me...(Click to read full letter in English / Spanish)
Listen to Recordings of the Letter Here:
English Spanish Haitian-Creole Q'anjobal K'iche