Culture

This Día De Los Muertos, Let’s Honor Those Who Died Looking For The American Dream

Every year, thousands of people from Central America and Mexico leave behind everything and everyone they’ve known and loved for a shot at a better life. Best case scenario, they survive the treacherous journey and end up working some low wage job. Worst case scenario, they die in anonymity, far from a family that has no idea what’s happened to them.

Every year, the U.S. Border Patrol recovers the remains of at least 200 dead immigrants across the southwest border. Those are just the bodies they’ve FOUND.

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For many immigrants, getting to the U.S. border is the easy part. The real struggle comes from having to traverse the brutal Sonoran desert or the punishing ranch lands of Texas. Dehydration, exposure to a blistering sun, injury, and even wildlife makes that part of the journey an actual living hell. For hundreds, the unfriendly setting becomes their graveyard.

When an immigrant dies, it’s like they disappear forever.  When authorities find their bodies, the remains are so decomposed that identification is next to impossible. In one Texas county, the remains were buried in mass graves. This year alone, 54 bodies were recovered from that same county.

Credit: Fusion/YouTube

“Nobody cares about dead immigrants,” forensic anthropologist Dr. Lori Baker told the Texas Observer last year. Baker led the excavation of the Falfurrias mass grave. They’re harsh words, but they’re true, and no one knows this better than Baker. She has devoted much of her professional career to finding who the dead bodies belong to so that they can be reunited with their families for proper mourning. Much of this work is done through her organization, “Reuniting Families.”

Despite the Herculean task, a lot of good people are doing everything they can to identify the bodies and give them a name.

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Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer

Last year, the Texas Observer teamed up with Baker to launch a photographic database of personal belongings found next to excavated bodies. Because the remains are so deteriorated, forensic analysis becomes increasingly harder. The hope is that the families looking for their loved ones can sift through the images to see if they recognize anything. It’s a long shot, but at this point anything helps. Elmer Barahona Iraheta, a 22-year-old father who left El Salvador so as to provide for his young daughter, was identified this way.

It’s not just the Texas Observer that’s trying to help. Earlier this July, local California newspaper The Desert Sun published photographs of actual dead bodies in hopes that someone could identify them.

The point of Día De Los Muertos is to remember and honor our loved ones who have passed. Those who died trying to find a better life for them and theirs deserve to be remembered. They had a name and a story to tell. Politics aside, no one deserves to die in the middle of nowhere, only to be forgotten. They existed. Their lives matter.


In remembrance, we encourage you to make a donation to Reuniting Families. The nonprofit runs entirely on the support of volunteers. They could use every little bit of help.


READ: The U.S. Can Thank Immigrants For Its Youthful Appearance

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Former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Dies Of Covid After Refusing To Wear Masks

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Former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Dies Of Covid After Refusing To Wear Masks

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The U.S. has recorded more than 150,000 deaths from Covid-19. Former Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain is one of them. After fighting for weeks against the virus, Cain died in the hospital.

Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate, died after his battle with Covid-19.

Cain was diagnosed with Covid-19 and was hospitalized about two weeks after attending the infamous Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was photographed at the event without a mask and surrounded by people who were not wearing masks.

“You’re never ready for the kind of news we are grappling with this morning. But we have no choice but to seek and find God’s strength and comfort to deal with it,” reads the Herman Cain website. “Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away. He’s entering the presence of the Savior he’s served as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, and preparing for his reward.”

There has been a lot of attention drawn to Cain’s refusal to wear a mask during the pandemic.

It isn’t clear how much of an impact Trump’s Tulsa rally had on Cain’s diagnosis. The Tulsa County Republican Party asked for people who went to the rally to come forward if they have Covid or interacted with Cain. The goal is to make sure that, if there was spread, it can be controlled.

“I didn’t talk to anyone that actually spent time with him,” Jack told The Washington Post. “We have not received any reports of anyone contracting COVID at the rally. I’m not saying there’s not somebody out there. I’m just saying we haven’t received any reports from anybody directly linked to the rally. I thought somebody would have caught it.”

Some people were quick to point out Cain’s opposition to face masks.

The face mask has become a politicized pain point in the U.S. Daily deaths of Covid are increasing and the face mask prevents the spread. The Republican Party has recently seen infections within their rank. A death to Covid is tragic and senseless because of the lack of national response.

“Herman was 74. Although he was basically pretty healthy in recent years, he was still in a high-risk group because of his history with cancer,” reads the announcement on his website. We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery.

Twitter users are pointing to Cain as a cautionary tale about the impact of Covid-19.

Cain was a proud Trump supporter and followed in the anti-mask campaign. The virus is picking up steam in the U.S. right now and it is more important now than ever to protect against the virus.

Rest in peace, Herman Cain.

READ: Boston Red Sox Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez Suffering From Covid-Related Heart Inflammation

A Woman Battled COVID-19 Then Gave Birth On A Ventilator And Died

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A Woman Battled COVID-19 Then Gave Birth On A Ventilator And Died

Pedro Vilela / Getty

For some time, health researchers have asserted that being pregnant and Latina make for an extremely at-risk combination when it comes to COVID-19. Aurora Chacon Esparza is just one of many women in the United States proving this to be true.

After being diagnosed with Coronavirus back in June, Aurora struggled with the symptoms of the virus while pregnant with her third child. Her husband Juan Duran said that at the time of her diagnosis she had been coughing non-stop and struggled with breathing. On June 19, medical experts put her on a ventilator.

Aurora delivered her baby via emergency C-section while still on a ventilator.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by her family, she passed away this past Sunday. She died in the hospital.

“Aurora was 7 months pregnant, the first week of June she began to have symptoms and went to take the COVID-19 test, she came out negative but the symptoms continued. Aurora called her primary doctor and was told to stay home, that sometimes the tests are not accurate,” the page explained. “The days passed and she began to feel more ill, on Sunday, June 14th  she could not take it anymore and went to the hospital where she was admitted immediately.”

It didn’t take long before Aurora’s symptoms worsened. On June 19th she was sedated and put on an incubator. “On Tuesday, June 23rd, her oxygen became very low and a c-section was required to save both of their lives. She delivered the baby while she was on the ventilator, fortunately, the c-section had no complications,” says the GoFundMe page. “My daughter was born at 30 weeks gestation but luckily she is doing very well. Aurora began to improve very slowly. However, on July 7th things took a turn to the worst. At this time the ventilator is giving her oxygen at 100%. They have given her some treatments but the doctor says that apart from that- they can’t do anything else. Since Aurora has been on the ventilator for more than seven days, the ECMO machine would do more damage than help, according to the medical providers.”

Speaking about his wife, Duran called Aurora “one of the strongest persons I’ve ever known.”

Duran described his wife as a 35-year-old “healthy woman with no pre-existing conditions.” “We never thought this could happen to our family.” Duran said of his wife in an interview with FOX6 Now. He went on to share that when Aurora’s doctor called him to say that she needed to have an emergency C-section to save her and their baby’s life he was optimistic. “I was thinking ‘okay she’s going to get through this, a few days at the hospital.’ But when I received that phone call it just hit me,” Duran said.

Aurora’s daughter, named Andrea, was delivered a ten-weeks premature. Fortunately, she is a healthy baby.

As of this publication, Andrea is in the NICU “but is continuing to grow and get stronger.” “She’s four pounds, two ounces now and her heart is doing great,” Duran explained. “She can breathe by herself. She eats, she smiles, she cries.”