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Award Winning Author to Speak on Immigration Crisis

Submitted by on March 23, 2011 – 10:09 am

Sonia Nazario

Pulitzer Prize-Winning author and journalist Sonia Nazario will make two separate appearances in the Merrimack Valley on Friday, April 8, when she will discuss the modern-day odyssey of child migrants who travel to the United States alone in search of their immigrant moms. Nazario, who has spent 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently for the Los Angeles Times, will also touch on the immigration crisis in her presentations.

Both presentations are free and open to the public. The first will be held at 8:45 a.m. at Lawrence High School’s Performing Arts Center, 70-71 North Parish Road, Lawrence. The second presentation will begin at noon. in the Technology Center on Northern Essex Community College’s Haverhill Campus, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill.

Nazario will take the audience inside the world of millions of immigrant women who come to the U.S. as single mothers, leaving their children behind. She will discuss the modern-day odyssey many child migrants—some as young as 7, all of them traveling alone—make years later riding on top of freight trains through Mexico in their quest to reunify with the mothers in the United States.

Nazario’s award winning book, “Enrique’s Journey”, is the true story of the odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother.

When Enrique is five years old, his mother, Lourdes, too poor to feed her children, leaves Honduras to work in the United States. The move allows her to send money back home to Enrique so he can eat better and go to school past the third grade.

After 11 years apart, Enrique despairs of ever seeing his mother again and decides to go find her. He sets off alone on a journey in which he faces bandits and corrupt cops and tries to evade Mexican police and immigration authorities.

Nazario’s stories as a reporter have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction, and immigration.

Named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business magazine and dubbed a “trendsetter” by Hispanic magazine, Nazario has won numerous national journalism and book awards.

Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and in Argentina, has written extensively from Latin America and about Latinos in the United States. She is a graduate of Williams College and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she reported from four bureaus: New York, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles. In 1993, she joined the Los Angeles Times.

The White Fund Enrichment Program at Northern Essex Community College in collaboration with the Hispanic Cultural Enrichment Program, which is funded by the NECC Fund and the Lawrence Cultural Council, brings Nazario first to Lawrence High School’s Performing Arts Center, 70-71 North Parish Road in Lawrence at 8:45 a.m. The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series Presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.

Later that day, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Nazario will appear at Northern Essex Community College’s Haverhill campus in the Technology Center. This appearance is funded by NECC’s Office of Faculty & Staff Development’s Diversity Committee and Student Activities.

For more information, please contact 978 738-7403 or