In recent years, immigration from Central America has surged as more and more people from the region choose to pick up and attempt the dangerous journey through Mexico towards the US border. Endemic poverty and rising levels of violence are two of the main reasons people choose to leave. But there are other reasons. Jairo Guerra left Honduras, he says, because of his sexual orientation – he’s gay, and where he’s from, that means he can’t get a job or openly express himself without worrying for his safety. “In the US, you can be gay and get ahead in life,” says Guerra. Reporter Jasmine Garsd recorded Jairo’s story in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz in southern Mexico. She met him under a bridge near the railway tracks where the train known as La Bestia passes. He tells us what it’s like to be a gay migrant.
Photo by Yuri Corteza/AFP/Getty Images
Jasmine Garsd was born in Argentina and hosts NPR's Alt.Latino podcast. As a journalist she's worked on the NPR programs Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation and Tell Me More. She has covered a wide variety of topics for radio including immigration issues.