Human+Kind: Pedro's Story

PEDRO. PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, RED CROSS VOLUNTEER

PEDRO. PHOTO CREDIT: CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, RED CROSS VOLUNTEER

Migration affects the lives of millions across the United States, the Americas, and globally. The Human+Kind project seeks to highlight the stories of migrants in the US-Mexico borderlands and the work of humanitarian organizations to support them, including the work of the Red Cross. For more from this project, please click here.

"I would like the United States to forgive me for the mistakes I have made. I have four children in the United States who I haven’t seen in five years. I voluntarily left the United States to visit my mother and my first wife, both who were sick and dying in Mexico. When I tried to return, [the authorities] told me I could not. After [my loved ones] died, I found my way to Tijuana.

"I’ve never considered myself a perfect person. I made mistakes just like everyone else. I never asked for public assistance. I have worked all my life. But, I ended up getting arrested [while in the United States], and that stripped me of all my rights to stay.

"We all carry sadness and loneliness in our hearts. Pride, vanity, machismo keep us from expressing our feelings. We, as men, pretend that we don’t feel it, but it’s not true — we do. We cry for the errors and bad decisions we’ve made. We cry when we are alone.

"God saved me from drug addiction. I was in locked up in prison in 1995. I felt alone and abandoned. In that desperation, I had to find someone, something to get me through it. There were times when I didn’t know if I could make it. I walked into a small chapel in prison. I cried, I yelled. I walked out of the chapel, knowing that I was not alone. I knew God was with me.

"I’m 65 years old and most people don’t believe me. They’ll ask me why I look so young and I tell them that when you open your heart to Jesus, He heals you from the inside to the outside. He gives you a tremendous strength.

"He makes you like the eagle that, once he is old, he climbs the highest mountain and, for 40 days, he destroys his beak, he moults and his feathers fall. During that time, he grows a new beak and new feathers and the eagle comes out stronger and more beautiful than ever. That’s what Christ does to you when you open your heart to Him.

"He healed me. I had deep wrinkles and dark circles under my eyes. My hair was almost completely white. And he fixed what was inside. He renewed me completely."