Best of Slow Journalism: ‘Young Carlos’

Photo: AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

Meet Carlos, 18. When Carlos was 15 and living in his native Honduras, his friend was murdered by a gang member in front of his eyes. Carlos kept receiving death threats because he was a witness and decided to flee to the United States.

Carlos is now an illegal immigrant, living with his grandmother – a US citizen – in New York. He is one of the thousands of unaccompanied minors who arrive in the US every month – this year it could be up to 74,000 in total.

We love this piece by New York Magazine, in which Alexandra Starr profiles Carlos. Starr writes about the hellish journey the teenager made from Honduras to New York: about la Bestia, the freight train from Mexico to the US, and how Carlos crossed the Arizona desert alone. She also writes about Carlos’s love of football, and how he uses it as a defense mechanism against the traumatic memories which haunt him.

‘Young Carlos’ provides a fascinating insight into an individual experience that exposes a much bigger social issue. It’s our recommended piece of Slow Journalism for this week. You can read it online here.

If you’re interested in the issue of illegal immigration in the US, why not have a look at issue #14 of Delayed Gratification, in which we published a beautiful photo feature about the US-Mexico borderlands and the people who live there. The issue is available in our shop.

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