Enrique’s Journey

Lourdes Character Analysis

Lourdes is Enrique, Belky, and Diana's mother. Leaving her children in Honduras is an extremely difficult decision for her, but she does so in order to support them by sending back money. When she arrives in the U.S., she struggles to have a steady job and find a good partner. Eventually, she settles happily in North Carolina. She is relieved and happy to see Enrique when he arrives safely at her home, though subsequently they do have some difficulties readjusting and rebuilding the bonds that were broken by her leaving Enrique when he was so young.

Lourdes Quotes in Enrique’s Journey

The Enrique’s Journey quotes below are all either spoken by Lourdes or refer to Lourdes. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Enrique’s Journey published in 2007.
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:

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"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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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

7. The Girl Left Behind Quotes

"'It's like a miracle,' [Lourdes] says. It is as if all the hurt he felt inside had to come out and now he is ready to move on."

Related Characters: Sonia Nazario (speaker), Lourdes
Page Number: 235
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 dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Lourdes Character Timeline in Enrique’s Journey

The timeline below shows where the character Lourdes appears in Enrique’s Journey. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
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 Honduras. He does not know what is going on, and Lourdes... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Lourdes makes her journey by bus through Mexico with her smuggler—a person who helps illegal immigrants... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
When Lourdes leaves Honduras on that fateful day, Enrique is left confused and abandoned. His father, Luis,... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Lourdes life in the U.S. is not what she imagined. She rekindles a relationship with a... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Despite Lourdes' attempts to care for her children from afar, the money cannot make up for their... (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 times and becomes a problem at school.... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
A year later, Lourdes moves to North Carolina, where there are fewer immigrants and she finds the people more... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Enrique next moves to his maternal grandmother's, where he grew up with Lourdes. At fifteen, Enrique becomes quiet and sad. His grandmother... (full context)
5. On the Border
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...banks of the Rio Grande in Nuevo Laredo for days. He is unsure whether his mother is still in North Carolina and he has lost her phone number. He remembers just... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...of sorts: if Enrique can earn enough to get the phone cards and call his mother, he will be more likely to pay El Tiríndaro to help him cross the river... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...phone card. The next day, in celebration, he has El Tiríndaro give him a tattoo: "EnriqueLourdes" written on his chest. He knows his mother won’t be happy about the tattoo. However,... (full context)
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...he is trustworthy and has a good success rate. Yet before he can call his mother to tell her to hire El Tiríndaro, Enrique discovers that his right shoe has been... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...old boss in Honduras, who connects him to his relatives who then give him his mother's phone number in North Carolina. He runs to a pay phone to be alone, and... (full context)
6. A Dark River, Perhaps a New Life
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... (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 talk about... (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 Belky (and... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
As Enrique and Lourdes become more estranged, Enrique turns to alcohol to ease the tension and starts to smoke... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
...less frequently, even though he still tells her that he wants her to join him. Lourdes begins to notice that Enrique is high often and catches him with the paint thinner.... (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 continue. He wants to stop drinking and wasting his money, so that he does not... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
Mirian, Lourdes' sister, is out of work and cannot afford to raise her children in Honduras. She... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Lourdes and the family move to Florida in search of better work. There, the men get... (full context)
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...the long term. Enrique sets up a smuggler for her. The day she leaves, like Lourdes, she says goodbye to her daughter but cannot bring herself to tell her daughter where... (full context)
Epilogue
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...make up this book, the TV show Don Francisco Presenta airs an episode about Enrique, Lourdes, and Nazario. Don Francisco surprises his guests by also flying Belky to the show on... (full context)
Afterword: Women, Children, and the Immigration Debate
Family and Abandonment Theme Icon
Perseverance and Survival Theme Icon
Compassion and Faith Theme Icon
Humanization and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Immigration Theme Icon
...doubled. In Latin America, the divorce rates are rising, which means more and more single mothers like Lourdes will be compelled by poverty to leave their children. The growing number of... (full context)