Jose Enrique Sanchez, 11, traveled more than 600 miles alone with only 200 pesos (the equivalent of 15 U.S. dollars) in his pocket in an attempt to be reunited with his mother.
"My papa said that my mother is in Laredo, so I came to find her," said Sanchez, who hasn’t seen his mother in more than 18 months.
Sanchez, originally from Veracruz, Mexico, hopped on the Kansas City Southern de Mexico, or KCS-Mexico as it is commonly known, in a desperate attempt to be reunited with his mom. Sanchez was found last Sunday while hanging around the near the Puente Negro railroad. He managed to make it safely all the way to the town of Nuevo Laredo, just across the border, before being stopped by security guard Jasiel Cruz, who handed him over to authorities.
“We have been told that he is in good shape and awaiting contact with a relative,” KCS-Mexico spokesman David Eaton told the Latin American Herald. Sanchez is currently being held in a juvenile detention center. Eaton says that the railroad is monitoring the boy’s situation and discussing how it could help him return home.
Hundreds of thousands of Latin American migrants attempt to make the dangerous journey to the United States on the freight trains through Mexico. Approximately five percent of those immigrants are children traveling by themselves.