Many Central Americans leave their home countries for better working opportunities to provide for their families and escape violence. Although they receive warnings that the journey is dangerous and life in the U.S. is not easy, they choose to embark on this arduous path.
Since 2010, I have been documenting the passage of Central American men, women and children while attempting to cross the borders from Honduras to Guatemala through Mexico and into the United States. I interviewed and photographed victims and survivors, and for the ordeal they went through, I think of many of them as heroes. Meanwhile, I have witnessed the desperation that drives a person to leave his or her family, home, and country in the hope of a better life.
This project began as a collaboration with Voces Mesomaericanas, an initiative from several different NGO’s working on migration issues in Central America and Mexico. At the onset, I arrived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in early September 2010, where I met different associations and people working on migration related issues.
From Tegucigalpa, I traveled to Cedros, a rural municipality in central Honduras, north west to San Pedro Sula, a town closer to Guatemala. Then I went to Ocotepeque, which borders Guatemala, where I saw migrants crossing the Mexican border to Guatemala or being deported.
According to the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico, some 10,000 migrants are kidnapped each year in Mexico. The captors primarily belong to the Zetas gang. These kidnapers demand between 1,500 and 5,000 dollars) in exchange for the hostages, depending on where the family lives (in the U.S. or their country of origin). If relatives cannot pay, the migrants, who are often from poor backgrounds, are executed. Their bodies are abandoned.
During the journey, I met numerous men, women and children searching for a better future, all of whom expressed their belief in God as the only one they can trust. To them God is always present. Faced with so much risk and injustice, they are willing to place their lives in God’s hands.
Markel Redondo is an award winning photographer (and filmmaker) based in the southwest of France and northeast of Spain. Specialized in editorial, portrait, and corporate photography with over 15 years of experience. When not traveling he works in nearby cities: Pamplona, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Vitoria, Biarritz, Bayonne, Bordeaux, and Pau. Originally from the Basque Country, he is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Basque. Since 2018 Markel is a fully AESA-approved drone operator in Spain.
A day before I was due to begin a degree at the University of Bolton, I decided Computer Sciences did not factor in my future and withdrew from the course to pursue a career in photography. From Bolton I headed East to China where, while studying for an MA in Photojournalism, I worked for a number of agencies, newspapers, and magazines. In 2007 I headed back to Europe, returning to my hometown Bilbao in 2008. Currently, I am based between Bilbao (Spain) and Biarritz (France) when not traveling abroad. I am represented by Panos Pictures. Since 2018 I am a fully AESA-approved drone operator in Spain.
My editorial and documentary work has been published in major publications such as Time, El Pais Semanal, Sunday Times Magazine, Le Monde, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Le Monde Diplomatique, L’Express, Financial Times Magazine, Stern and Neon.
My travel and lifestyle imagery has been seen in in-flight and travel magazines including National Geographic Traveler, Lufthansa, American Way, Wine Spectator, Monocle, and Celebrated Living.
I have been commissioned to provide photography and video for a variety of corporate clients such as Bosch, L’Oréal, or Agfa and organizations like Greenpeace, UNHCR, Ayuda en Accion, and WWF.
I speak Spanish, English, Basque, and French.
Specialties: Photojournalism, documentary photography and travel photography, portrait, editorial, commercial photography, multimedia, video, video journalism, videographer.