Where dreams die: The legacy of Alvaro Enciso

By Sunday Joyahnah Holland / El Inde

When a migrant leaves their home country to pursue the “American dream” and doesn’t call to check in by the next week or so — their moms and their spouses and their siblings and their children and their friends start to get worried. And when they don’t get back within a month, not to mention a year, the people who are anxiously awaiting their call start to fear that the worst has happened. More than 10,000 migrants have been estimated to have died crossing through the Sonoran desert, of migrants who didn’t make it, since 2001. This is the story of a man who’s trying to draw attention to and make art about this, what he calls: the desert’s secret, where dreams die.

Music: Niyama by Van Sandano from Epidemic Sound
Alvaro Enciso checks on a cross South of Arivaca, Arizona. It is one of 1,100 crosses that he has placed in the Sonoran Desert to honor migrants who died trying to cross the US-Mexico border. Photo by Nadia de Stefano.

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