According to José Astudillo, linked to mobility in the Austro, the parents have migrated, now the children and then the grandchildren will. For him, this will not stop.
Mauro Gavilanes lives today in the United States and has even started a family in that country. He migrated in search of “better days” and has not done badly. He believes that he was very lucky on his trip to the north of the continent.
In 1994 he made the decision to travel even though his parents did not agree and asked him to stay in the city of Cuenca. Once his situation was defined, he looked for a person to help him on his trip, since at that time he had to pay $ 6,000. “It was a lot of money to invest in a trip that I did not know if it had a happy ending or not,” he said.
After leaving Cuenca he arrived in Quito, where he took an international flight that would leave him in Guatemala. After his arrival in Central America with six more basins he took over the group, since “the passer” or also called “coyote” abandoned them in Quito, after giving them a series of indications.
When we were at the airport and after giving us the instructions, he said that he had forgotten his passport and that he would later reach us in Guatemala, “said Gavilanes. From this country a trip by sea was undertaken, “they anticipated us that we would go by boat and that we should not even take our hands”, “then we realized why, because the motorboat was at 140 km per hour on average “, Said the current US resident.
Upon arriving in Mexico, they went to the Federal District (Mexico) where they changed clothes and rested. “We followed the instructions of the passer to the letter”, added Mauro Gavilanes. In that city we had to talk to taxi drivers to take us to the bus terminal, then find not so expensive hotels and look for people to accommodate you until the “bosses” arrive. “Later we arrived in Morelia (Mexico) and from there the coyote from Central America made contact and took us on a plane to Tijuana to take us immediately to the border, to the San Diego sector. You had to walk very long stretches -he recalled-, the same ones that took no less than 12 hours of walking. You had to carry a backpack with the most elementary and when the patrols were watching you with the lighthouse, you had to throw yourself to the floor or go into the bushes, “said the former Cuenca resident.
Once in San Diego-United States, the migrants crossed highways and arrived at a place already planned by them, where a van awaited them to embark them. For the ex-migrant, the trip was one of luck, compared to the stories told by the rest of the compatriots living in the United States. “More we waited for people in Guatemala (migrants), than the journey itself,” he said.
He indicated that the coyoteros never advance to the border with one or two people, they always do with the group because they have to charge. “I was never afraid, I was just determined to arrive in the United States,” he said.
Gavilanes added that in San Diego they boarded him in a small car and went to a hotel where they were left so they could continue moving into the interior of the United States. “Since I still had to pay $ 3,000, they put pressure on me to buy me the internal flight ticket and go to New York,” he said. “Mine was an adventure, but there are worse stories,” he said.
For Gavilanes traveling to the United States across the border and illegally is a real risk at the moment. The basque believes that the legal form must be sought, first to take care of his life and then not to be swindled, in many cases, by the “passers” that is a chain that begins in Ecuador, joins Central America and reaches the border with the United States. “They do not care about the life of the people, but the money and take care of their own life,” he said. Currently, Gavilanes has all his documents as a US citizen, like his children, “but I miss my land and every time I can travel,” he expressed with melancholy. “I go to Cuenca and see how it has been transformed, how much has changed and how it is becoming a metropolis,” said Gavilanes.
The migration at the beginning was directed to the peasant sector
For university professor José Astudillo, who is linked to mobility in the Austro, today it is not only young people who want to migrate, but also professionals who have not been able to work in the country. According to the academic, in the 1980s, Ecuadorians, particularly the Azuayans, migrated as adults and came from the peasant sectors.
At the end of the 90s, migration changed and it was the middle and city sectors who traveled, this due to the economic recession that occurred. “These waves, these migratory movements also show the abandonment of homes,” said the scholar and stressed that now we can talk about a second and third generation of citizens who go to the United States. “There are people there, whose children were very small and now they have their sights set on family reunification. “It is very difficult to stop these migratory waves of the azuayos”, concluded Astudillo. (I)