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The Return

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and his grandparents still live there. But visiting them didn't feel like the home he once knew.

2019 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

2018 / Sayre Quevedo / NPR's Latino USA, USA

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and his grandparents still live there. But visiting them didn't feel like the home he once knew.

Javier Zamora is an award-winning Salvadoran poet based in California. He published his book Unaccompanied in 2017 about his journey (with a coyote) at the age of nine to reunite with his parents in the US. In June 2018, Javier had no choice but to return to El Salvador for the first time in almost 20 years, since leaving as a child. Javier’s TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, that allowed him to live and work in the US was suddenly under threat of being revoked by the Trump administration. And so he returned in an attempt to apply for a new visa, without a guarantee that he would be able to come back to his life in the US.

The Return was produced by Sayre Quevedo, with editors Marlon Bishop and Sophia Paliza-Carre for NPR’s Latino USA .


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