I am a social scientist who focuses on the experiences and needs of child, youth and forced migrants and their families. From 2013 to 2014, I completed a Fulbright Fellowship in El Salvador, in which Karla Castillo and I conducted just short of 600 interviews with over 650 child migrants (about one-third of them girls) traveling alone and in families and numerous government officials, NGOs and researchers throughout the Northern Triangle. To triangulate our interviews with a representative sample (16%) of Salvadoran children deported from Mexico in 2014, I have compiled, calculated and mapped government statistics on disappearance, homicide and rape and am now leading a talented team of 10 to systematically synthesize Salvadoran news reports by location and theme.
In collaboration with a number of individuals and organizations who have consistently and patiently supported me at different points over the past three years, we will soon publish in English and Spanish a series of reports on deportees to the Northern Triangle who were murdered and departmental reports for the interviews Karla and I conducted in 2014, with their attendant supporting materials. In previous years, I published articles, briefs and editorials on why Central American children are leaving, their potential unmet mental health needs in detention, and high rejection rates of Central American asylum claims.
I also have over a decade’s experience in youth programming with children from low-income backgrounds in multiple countries and have consulted for UNHCR, journalists, film makers, and artists. I speak with print, radio and television media outlets regularly about this research and also provide expert testimony in Central American asylum seekers’ cases in several countries. I have presented upon invitation to various United States, Salvadoran and Costa Rican government agencies. Most rewarding, I remain in contact with a number of the children and families who I have met through this research and who now reside in various parts of more than five countries.
Soy una académica con enfoque en experiencias y necesidades de niños, jóvenes y migrantes forzados. Hablo español y, desde 2006, he vivido, trabajado y realizado investigaciones con comunidades de habla española en los Estados Unidos y en otros países. Además, tengo más de una década de experiencia en programas juveniles y organización juvenil. Desde el inicio de mi programa de doctorado en el año 2011, he publicado en editoriales académicos y populares. Sobre la base de este trabajo, la prensa me ha consultado como experta. También, he dado testimonio de experta en casos de solicitantes de asilo Centroamericano en Canadá, Suecia, el Reino Unido y los Estados Unidos.