The dangerous route that Dominicans follow to reach the US
“Mexico is the way to go” is one of the most popular phrases used by Dominican immigrants when recounting their journey to reach the United States and fulfill what they call “the American dream.” Stories of Dominicans trying to reach the North American country illegally using the borders of Guatemala and Mexico as a bridge are becoming more frequent. The odyssey of these Dominican immigrants has been told by them through social media, particularly TikTok, where they have published several videos showing the route map they take to cross into US territory and even telling part of their experience.
“Here we have been lining up since two in the morning, without having breakfast, to get on this yolita,” says Manuel, a Dominican in one of these videos. He is seen together with a group of compatriots as they crossed the Panamanian jungle to El Darién heading to the USA. In this jungle, Dominican immigrants and other nationalities risk drowning or being swept away by the mighty rivers. Those who have reached their destination “successfully” have chosen to give recommendations in videos that soon go viral for those who intend to immigrate. Not carrying a lot of luggage or documents, and taking sweets, powdered serums, energizers, tuna, bread, and tortillas for the road are some of the suggestions that immigrants make on TikTok.
These illegal trips, which have become a trend in recent months, are motivated in most cases by the economic factor. Hunger, cold, risks of death, and fraud are some of the qualities that marked the trip of these people in search of a better life.