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Stories of migration from some of the best young journalists in Mexico, Central America and the United States

The First Migrant

Jimmy Alvarado and Ruxandra Guidi reporting from El Salvador

To migrate is often seen as a sign of bad luck, for the migrant themselves, and for the town they have to abandon. But in Intipuca, El Salvador, locals celebrate their first migrant to the US as a folk hero. They have a statue in his honor and tell stories of his pioneering spirit. And like most folk heroes, not all the stories are true, and townsfolk still debate about it, more than four decades since Sigfredo Chavez first left Intipuca.





El Salvadorans hope to revise town's beloved 'first migrant' story

by Ruxandra Guidi


June 4, 2015

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The Salvadoran town where migrants are hotly debated folk heroes

by Ruxandra Guidi


May 4, 2015

Intipuca is a small town in southeastern El Salvador that lies close to a beach popular with surfers. But the reason most outsiders know about this place has nothing to do with tourism. Intipuca is famous for the people who have left.

An estimated 5,000 Intipuca locals now live in and around Washington, DC. The mayor, Enrique Mendez, gave me his version of why people started leaving the town en masse for the US.

"It was because of the armed conflict here in El Salvador," he says, "and the first to go was Sigfredo Chavez."

The mayors story isn't quite …

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How Migrants Become Folk Heroes

by Ruxandra Guidi


May 8, 2015

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El Pueblo que decidio marcharse

by Jimmy Alvarado


June 15, 2015

Desde la decada de 1960 la emigracion en este pequeno pueblo llamado Intipuca es notoria. En 2006, el concejo municipial construyo un monumento a quien decidieron reconocer como la primera persona del pueblo en marcharse hacia Estados Unidos y que les mostro el camino de la prosperidad. Con cerca de un 40 % de los intipuquenos radicados en Estados Unidos, la ironia de Intipuca es que su gran orgullo es su enorme exodo.

Intipuca es un monumento a la emigracion. Se nota en todos lados. En las casas de dos o de tres pisos que resaltan a los lados de …

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by Ruxandra Guidi


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