With a single candle burning in the room, Hernando and Beatrice Reyes sat their 4 boys down and talked to them about their future. The oldest, Sergio, was just 17 years old, and the youngest, Carlos, was 10. Hernando told them that the only future they had in Mexico would break their backs, keep them from learning in school, and demoralize their hopes. He then explained why over the past few years he and Beatrice were working so much. With the money they made, he told them how later that night transportation was coming for them and in about a month they would be living in California. He told them this was their chance, to have life.
The journey was harder than any of the boys could've imagined. Multiple sleepless nights. Days without food. Dehydration and hunger. They were led on a route that put them on unpredictable terrain with terrible drops, so as to mask their visibility. Further precautions required they move at night. Sergio, the eldest gave his strength over to his youngest brother Carlos, by carrying him on his back for multiple miles at a time. Young Santiago tried to do his part by carrying Carlos' limited luggage. The second born, Alejandro, was left with the responsibility to lead their line.
It was an especially dark night. There were clouds covering the light of the moon, and the coyote leading the group of about 20 decided they could gain a lot of ground by moving quickly. Moving through a windy mountainous path, Alejandro misstepped and fell off the ledge some 40 feet. The mountain echoed the thud of a body hitting rock. Sergio cried out, set Carlos on the ground and ran down the rocky path to where he found his brother, dead. The border crossing coyote wanted to keep moving so he told Sergio he had 20 minutes. By himself, he stacked rocks on top of his brother, formed a cross out of some sticks, and determined in his soul that he would never let anything happen to any of his family again.