Is Uncle Sam Worth the Price?

Viva La Revolucion

artist: Shepard Fairey

Enticed, driven, and emotionally engaged; these are only a handle of emotions felt when one reads Yuri Herrera’s, Signs Preceding The End Of The World.

Herrera’s action packed novel revolves around a young hispanic woman, Makina, and her travel, trials, and tribulations as she attempts to cross the border from Mexico to the United States in search for her younger brother, whom seems to be nameless throughout the novel.

Through her travels, Makina is faced with life and death situations on a constant basis.  What makes this novel  more surreal is the fact that this character’s journey is actually someone else’s reality, someone whom actually has lived this life and crossed over in search for a better life.

But, is crossing the border illegally worth all the risk?  First of all, those who are crossing from Mexico to America are faced with multiple obstacles. When crossing one has to consider the elements and nature, for it is easy to lose ones’s life when they are overly exposed to the severe cold of desert nights. 

Secondly, the United States borders are guarded by men, whom are well trained and well armed with their fingers ready on the trigger, eager to slug any poor bastard they come across. 

Third, there are people who act as “safe passage” to the other side of the border for a handsome fee; however, those people might not be whom they seem to be.  Sure those people, or better yet, “Coyotes”, people who smuggle people across the border for money, end up turning their backs on the people they swore to help leaving them out to dry. 

Either way, to cross the border is to put one’s life at risk.  Makina understands the risk and yet still decides to go through with her plan to cross.  It is hard to make out if she feels fear or not, but I am sure her adrenaline starts pumping when its fight or flight time.  To Makina, she is rolling the dice, and crapping out is not an option. 

Would you put your life on the table?



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