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Bound to El Norte

SEPTEMBER 11, 2000. TEOTIHUACAN, MEXICO. "Bound to El Norte" A Central American boy sits atop a speeding freight train near Teotihuacan, Mexico. Like the 50 or more other stowaways, I rode all night from tropical Veracruz through tunnels and the cold mountain passes to Mexico City. At first light I spotted a tiny figure seated 3 hopper cars ahead. I jogged and leaped over the couplers to reach him before we were enveloped in the fog. I squeezed off a few horizontal and vertical frames. I got one step closer, about to ask his name when I saw he was shivering, sniffling and sobbing. My empathy as a parent pulled me back from a private moment I felt should be his and his alone. The anonymous, underdressed boy in a dirty shirt never noticed me on his sojourn to El Norte, somewhere over the invisible horizon. (Photograph by Don Bartletti)
Bound to El Norte