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Honoring those who died while crossing the border

"They can't be forgotten, even if the country wants to forget them we can't..."

HOLTVILLE, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - To kick off Hispanic Heritage month community members gathered at the Terrace Park Cemetery to honor those who died while crossing the border.

Nestled in the back of the cemetery is another cemetery, there is no grass and no headstones and for some, there are no names. 

All that is known of the people buried there is that all of their journeys ended the same, dying in the desert from heat exhaustion, dehydration, or hypothermia crossing the U.S. Mexico border. 

“A wall separates those who are citizens and those who are undocumented,  and uhh today precisely today is a very symbolic day it is the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month what legacy are we giving to our people?,” Hugo Castro, Chirla Organizer. 

In 2019 alone there were 300 deaths along the southwest border. 

“If they don’t have papers they don’t have rights, for example, my name is Hugo Castro if I don’t have my id on me I don’t stop being Hugo Castro, I continue to be Hugo Castro, even if I forgot, therefore, a human being doesn’t stop being a human being if they don’t have a piece of paper.” 

A lot of the people buried here have families that don’t even know they passed.

“It’s not part of our history, it’s part of what’s happening and it’s not the past we still have people dying trying to get in and we have people suffering all along the border,” said Susan Massey.  

Immigration / Imperial County / Top Stories

Gianella Ghiglino

Peruvian-born and LA raised Gianella Ghiglino joins the team from the San Fernando valley. “LA is the place that taught me how to breath and Peru is my breath.” She says she was inspired by the community she grew up in and began documenting her experience through poetry at the age of 7. “I wrote about everything I saw, felt and everything that inspired me.” When she entered High School she joined her school news station and realized that broadcast journalism allowed her to pursue her passion and her purpose all at once. Gianella attended Cal State Northridge and received a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science. She did several internships while in College but most notably interned for PBS’s local LA station for three years. “My purpose is to share my story and of those in my community, my passion is writing.”

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