American Chimera | Mirna & Marely

Kentucky, USA, Spring 2019

Mirna is a 45-year-old Honduran woman who decided to leave her country of origin with her daughter Mirna-Marely after frequent threats and violence perpetrated against her family. Mirna had a small shop in Colon, Honduras, and in order to keep on working, she had to pay a weekly extortion to the local gangs, until, due to their increasing demands, she was no longer able to pay. For this reason her mother and her young son were both killed. She was then threatened and given twenty-four hours to leave her city.

After more than four thousand kilometers, marching with her friends and relatives, Mirna arrives in Tijuana, at the border wall with the United States. On December 1st, with her travel compa- nions, she tries to illegally cross the border, but she is discovered and sent back by the American border police. Thus she remains in the Barretal shelter for the following ten days, in a waiting limbo.

On December 10, Mirna and the whole group of women pay a smuggler to illegally enter Ame- rica. In San Diego she is identified and then forced to wear an ankle bracelet. Through a GPS system, Mirna is under constant control by the government.

After days of travel, Mirna arrives in Loiusville, Kentucky, where she is hosted in Vonnette’s hou- se, an American lady who has decided to help the group of migrants. Mirna is happy with Von- nette and decides, together with the daughter, to stay and live in Vonnette’s house. However, due to the electronic bracelet, Mirna cannot work, but thanks to Vonnette’s help, she is still able to undertake the legal process and to pay a lawyer.

With the caravan of February 2019, two other sons of Mirna, Yosemar and Fernando, and their father Luis, join her in Loiusville. They will be hosted by Vonnette too, except for Fernando, who decides to live in the rented apartment with the other women.