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Chapter Twelve

Chapter Synopsis

The group walks out of the hotel and wanders the town. They come across a high, rusting wall covered in graffiti. When everyone starts arguing Nayeli decides they need a morale boost and calls a man pushing an ice cream cart over. She buys everyone ice cream and asks what the wall is. He tells her it is the legendary border fence. They walk east along the wall until it stops, intersecting with a concrete flood control channel. On the other side they can see the lines of cars waiting to pass through the border check point. They wonder aloud if they could follow it to the ocean and just swim around it, but a group of boys next to them tell them the wall extends into the ocean so you can’t swim around it.

Don Porfirio and Doña Araceli are two beggars from Michoacán. They came north to Tijuana to earn money. Work is their life. Don Porfirio had worked at the dump before it shut down, now he washes windshields. Doña begs for money. They saw the group sitting on the sidewalk looking bedraggled. They invite them to their home for a good night’s sleep. They ride on a bus out of the city. When they get off they walk down a road turning a corner to see a black mountain of trash.

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