Central American children are risking their lives to cross the border

Aug 5, 2014

Credit Tim Shields / Flickr

There's been a lot of talk about what to do with the surge of children from Central America crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. And some are even coming to Michigan.

Oscar Dussan understands why these children are risking their lives to come to the U.S.

Dussan is the executive director of International Samaritan, an organization in Ann Arbor that provides programs and outreach to extremely impoverished communities across the world.

Dussan said impoverished children in Central America don’t really understand their circumstances until they reach ages 12 and 13. They really start to notice their surroundings and can become sad or even depressed.

They wear old clothes, and their culture and mannerisms are different. They are extremely impoverished, literally living in garbage dumps, chasing garbage trucks for food and resources, and are being attacked by rats. They also face extreme violence from gangs.

They flee north because ultimately, risking their lives here is better than living in their home countries.

*Listen to the full interview with Oscar Dussan above. 

– Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom