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Memoir of a Honduran Immigrant

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(pronounced mo-HAH-dah)

—n. A Spanish term used by the Spanish-speaking immigrant community to describe an immigrant who entered the United States without going through an official immigration checkpoint. No le digas a nadie que eres mojada. (Never tell anyone that you are a mojada.)

—adv. A Spanish term used to describe the manner in which an immigrant has crossed the border. ¿Ella vino mojada o con visa? (Did she come mojada or with a visa?)


Memoir of a Honduran Immigrant

As a young girl growing up in a small town in Honduras, Keyla Sanders imagined her own version of the American Dream. The reality involved dangers, suffering and sacrifice during an overland journey through Guatemala and Mexico, including arrests, deportations and kidnapping. For the first time, there is a first-person account from an undocumented immigrant from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. Keyla tells what inspired her to embark on a dangerous journey, what the journey was like, and the years of struggle she endured after attempting to navigate the U.S. immigration system. She uses her own experience to demonstrate how this broken system is as reliant on circumstance and luck as any lottery. She recounts the struggle of an undocumented immigrant while also dealing with high school, young adulthood, and eventually having her own children. Keyla's story adds the voice of an undocumented immigrant to the conversation, demonstrating that the hardships expended in achieving one's American Dream are what unite all those striving for a better life, regardless of where they were born or how they got here.

The Author

 In Spanish, darle alas translates to empower someone to do something great (literally to give someone wings.) Keyla Sanders (Alas) received those wings from her grandmother who taught Keyla faith, determination, and a desire to help others.


Keyla came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant when she was 16 years old in search of her american dream.  Here she has applied her grandmother's lessons as she has continued her education, found love, raised children and become an entrepreneur. Through photography and her writing, she continues to look for ways to help and empower others. 

Keyla currently lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, three children, and her excessively spoiled dog. 

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Memoir of a Honduran Immigrant

Published by

McFarland & Company Publishers

Jefferson, North Carolina  202-717-2797

© 2024 Keyla Sanders

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