Enrique’s Journey

Enrique Character Analysis

Enrique is the protagonist of this non-fiction story. He makes the odyssey from Honduras to find his mother in the United States. Growing up, Enrique is quiet and becomes moody as an adolescent--a result of his feelings of abandonment and loss at the departure of his mother, Lourdes, who leaves Honduras for the United States in order to support her family when he is only five years old. As he grows up, he becomes more and more intent on reuniting with his mother. On his journey, he shows emotional and physical strength that will help him when he arrives in the United States. Rebuilding his relationship with his mother proves difficult, but he persists. Finally, he sends for his girlfriend Maria Isabel, the mother of his young daughter, Jasmin.

Enrique Quotes in Enrique’s Journey

The Enrique’s Journey quotes below are all either spoken by Enrique or refer to Enrique. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Random House edition of Enrique’s Journey published in 2007.
Prologue Quotes

"Then I began to retrace his steps, doing the journey exactly as he had done it a few weeks before. I wanted to see and experience things as he had with the hope of describing them more fully."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique
Page Number: xix
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in rep

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Enrique’s Journey quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
1. The Boy Left Behind Quotes

"[Enrique] will remember only one thing that she says to him: 'Don't forget to go to church this afternoon'."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique, Lourdes
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.LorLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod

"This had been his first home, the small stucco house where he and Lourdes lived until Lourdes stepped off the front porch and left. His second home was the wooden shack where he and his father lived with his father's mother, until his father found a new wife and left. His third home was the comfortable house where he lived with his uncle Marco."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique, Lourdes, Luis, Maria Marcos
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum

2. Seeking Mercy Quotes

"When Enrique's mother left, he was a child. Six months ago, the first time he set out to find her, he was still a callow kid. Now he is a veteran of a perilous pilgrimage by children, many of whom come looking for their mothers and travel any way they can."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique, Lourdes
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi

"In spite of everything, Enrique has failed again--he will not reach the United States this time, either. He tells himself over and over that he'll just have to try again."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehen

3. Facing the Beast Quotes

"He was five years old when his mother left him. Now he is almost another person. In the window glass, he sees a battered young man, scrawny and disfigured. It angers him, and it steels his determination to push northward."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.LoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo co

4. Gifts and Faith Quotes

"Somewhere over there lives his mother. She has become a mystery, too. He was so young when she left that he can barely remember what she looks like: curly hair, eyes like chocolate. Her voice is a distant sound on the phone."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique, Lourdes
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dLoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

5. On the Border Quotes

"His mother is a stranger...But he can feel her love."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique, Lourdes
Page Number: 178
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitLorLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor

6. A Dark River, Perhaps a New Life Quotes

"Children like Enrique dream of finding their mothers and living happily ever after. For weeks, perhaps months, these children and their mothers cling to romanticized notions of how they should feel toward each other. Then reality intrudes."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Enrique, Lourdes
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Dui

Get the entire Enrique’s Journey LitChart as a printable PDF.
Enrique s journey.pdf.medium

Enrique Character Timeline in Enrique’s Journey

The timeline below shows where the character Enrique appears in Enrique’s Journey. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...would provide the story for the book she wants to write, Nazario finds out about Enrique from a nun at a church in Nuevo Laredo, near the Rio Grande in Mexico.... (full context)
1. The Boy Left Behind
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique is five years old on January 29, 1989, when his mother, Lourdes, leaves Tegucigalpa in... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique’s separation from his mother defines his life, and his desire to see and reconnect with... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
When Lourdes leaves Honduras on that fateful day, Enrique is left confused and abandoned. His father, Luis, who had been separated from Lourdes for... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...afar, the money cannot make up for their emotional loss. Her relationships to Belky and Enrique become more strained. In response, Lourdes plans to become a resident of the United States... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
In Honduras, the anger Enrique feels at the separation from his mother causes him to rebel. He is suspended three... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...in love with a house painter from Honduras, who also has two children back home. Enrique is doing well living with Marco, who works as a money changer at the border,... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Enrique next moves to his maternal grandmother's, where he grew up with Lourdes. At fifteen, Enrique... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Enrique meets and falls in love with Maria Isabel, who has also endured a difficult childhood... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
When Enrique turns sixteen, he and his friend Jose decide to try to get to the United... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
The failed attempt pushes Enrique deeper into his drug addiction. He ends up 6,000 lempiras ($400) in debt to his... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Although she is advised to leave Enrique, Maria Isabel persists in their relationship. She also thinks that she may be pregnant with... (full context)
2. Seeking Mercy
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
In a small town in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, Enrique, severely battered and wearing only his underwear, limps towards a field hand. The man provides... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
After this episode, Nazario turns the story back six months to when Enrique made his first attempt to travel north. The first attempt was described in the previous... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Meanwhile, in Honduras, Maria Isabel worries about Enrique and blames herself for his leaving. She wishes that he will be deported back to... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
At the Guatemalan border where Enrique was deported after being caught for the sixth time, he must quickly find his way... (full context)
3. Facing the Beast
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
This chapter recounts Enrique's eighth attempt to reach the United States, after having been deported to Guatemala after the... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
On the trains, Enrique encounters many other children like him, some as young as nine, most fifteen or younger.... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
In the brush, Enrique's main concern are madrinas, civilians who help the authorities. Carrying machetes, they often comb the... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
In Chiapas, Enrique knows that people are not likely to help migrants. They hold prejudices against Central Americans,... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Back on the train, Enrique stands holding on to a hopper as he suffers in the heat, which is over... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Some migrants who set out with Enrique for Chiapas have been caught and deported, while others have been severely injured or even... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Finally, Enrique makes it to the state of Oaxaca, 285 miles into Mexico. He gets off the... (full context)
4. Gifts and Faith
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
In April 2000, Enrique approaches Veracruz, about a third of the way up Mexico in the state of Oaxaca.... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
In Oaxaca and Veracruz, Enrique does not need to ask for help—unlike most of the people of Chiapas, most of... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique leaves Veracruz headed northward and makes friends with two other boys, one thirteen, and the... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
For the first time on his journey, Enrique decides to stop moving for a while. He wants to earn some money, so as... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
After working and earning 80 pesos along with enough to buy clothing and shoes, Enrique follows the brick maker’s travel advice, and ends up in Matehuala asking truckers for a... (full context)
5. On the Border
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique has been on the banks of the Rio Grande in Nuevo Laredo for days. He... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
In Nuevo Laredo, Enrique lives in an encampment among migrants, coyotes, junkies, and criminals. Though the camp is dirty... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...to heroin and pays for his addiction by smuggling, tattooing, and stealing. He hopes that Enrique will be one of his customers, so he treats him well. Enrique is protected by... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
By May 14, 2000, Mother's Day, Enrique has made enough to pay for two phone card. The next day, in celebration, he... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique thinks about crossing the river alone, but he is warned not to, especially as he... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique decides that his only option is to use a smuggler. He chooses El Tiríndaro because... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
On May 19th, Enrique goes to Pedro Leo, a kind local priest, because he knows he allows migrants to... (full context)
6. A Dark River, Perhaps a New Life
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
On May 21, 2000, Enrique waits with two other migrants, a Mexican brother and sister, at the beginning of the... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...are held for an indeterminate amount of time. Many become desperate and even suicidal. As Enrique waits, his mind fills with dread about what could happen. But after half an hour,... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...El Tiríndaro's in his network of smugglers. The vehicle has pillows in the back, and Enrique soon falls asleep sleeps, but is woken when they are approaching a checkpoint. The migrants... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
In North Carolina, Lourdes, worried sick about Enrique, waits to hear from her son. She has not been able to sleep and has... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique and Lourdes fit this pattern. The first day is joyful, just as they expected. They... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Not long after, on a phone call back home, Enrique learns that Maria Isabel is pregnant. On November 2, 2000, she gives birth to their... (full context)
7. The Girl Left Behind
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Enrique and Lourdes continue to argue. He blames his mother for leaving him and his sister... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
As Enrique and Lourdes become more estranged, Enrique turns to alcohol to ease the tension and starts... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Enrique sinks deeper into addiction and begins to huff paint thinner. He gets a speeding ticket,... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Enrique has been in the U.S. for two and a half years. Arguments with his mother... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...understands the hard decision that her own mother had to make. When Mirian moves in, Enrique is frustrated by how crowded it is in his mother’s apartment and decides to move... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
...begins to enjoy her life, spending time with her boyfriend and her daughter Diana. However, Enrique doesn’t like this new situation and soon moves back to North Carolina to work with... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
By the spring of 2004, Enrique has been away from Honduras for four years and he has not been able to... (full context)
Epilogue
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Not long after Nazario publishes the articles on Enrique’s journey that come to make up this book, the TV show Don Francisco Presenta airs... (full context)
Afterword: Women, Children, and the Immigration Debate
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...living in the U.S., and most are from Mexico and Central America. Many are like Enrique and have been separated from a parent. In schools, one in four children is an... (full context)