Enrique’s Journey


Sonia Nazario

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Enrique’s Journey Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Sonia Nazario's Enrique’s Journey. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Sonia Nazario

Nazario was born in Madison, Wisconsin to a Syrian father and a Polish mother, who both immigrated to Argentina. Nazario herself grew up in Kansas and Argentina. She is a graduate of Williams College and has a master's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and has been a journalist writing about social issues for over three decades.
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Historical Context of Enrique’s Journey

Nazario’s account of Enrique’s story seeks to humanize and publicize the conditions and factors, social and economic, that contribute to immigration from Central America to the United States in the early 21st century. There is no one contributing historical event that drives these changes, though the events of September 11, 2001 contributed to the increased effort by the United States to protect its border and curtail illegal, undocumented immigration into the country.

Other Books Related to Enrique’s Journey

While Enrique’s Journey is non-fiction, it confronts the problems of immigration using the personal story of one boy’s journey as its entry-point. Therefore, the work blends journalistic, non-fiction writing with more narrative styles to construct the journey for us through the eyes of Enrique. Nazario mentions its difference to other literary works, such as The Odyssey, namely that the reunion of Enrique and his mother is not as simple as it would be in fiction. Other books that relate to Enrique’s Journey in terms of style are The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande and Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail by Ruben Martinez. Both investigate the effects of immigration on families, and research the dangers of the journeys themselves. The Distance Between Us is a memoir and therefore looks at these issues through a single perspective, as Nazario hopes to do with Enrique. Crossing Over is written by an author who, like Nazario, reconstructs the path of the migrant through Mexico.
Key Facts about Enrique’s Journey
  • Full Title: Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother
  • When Written: 1997-2006
  • Where Written: Honduras, the United States, Mexico
  • When Published: 2006
  • Genre: Non-fiction
  • Setting: Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; Los Angeles, North Carolina, and Florida, United States
  • Climax: The book climaxes when Enrique crosses the Rio Grande, enters the United States, and finally reunites with his mother in North Carolina. Because the book is non-fiction, there is not a specific moment that Nazario constructs which can count as the climax. Rather, it is a fast-paced account of the trials of a seventeen-year-old boy in search of his mother.
  • Point of View: Nazario

Extra Credit for Enrique’s Journey

The real scoop. Enrique's Journey first appeared in the Los Angeles Times as a six-part series in 2002 with photographs by Don Bartletti.

Double Pulitzer. Both the author, Sonia Nazario, and the photographer, Don Bartletti received Pulitzer Prizes for their work on Enrique's Journey.