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Honduran Man Shares Journey to the US

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MISSION – A Honduran native residing in the Rio Grande Valley is using his life’s hardships as inspiration.

Marlon Rapalo, a non-fiction writer, plans to tell the story of his 45-day journey from Honduras to the U.S.

“I believe that’s not the best decision I could have made… I could have died on our trip because there are a lot of dangers,” he said.

At 17, a few friends persuaded him to travel to the U.S. in search of a better life. But he said it wasn’t what he expected.

“On the road I saw a lot of things. I saw one person get killed,” he said.

Rapalo also said he witnessed a 16-year-old girl be sexually assaulted. He said he often wonders what happened to her.

He also recalled a friend he made on top of the northbound train in Mexico many use to get to the border. The woman disappeared when the train went through a dark tunnel.

“Thank God nothing happened to me, but I know there’s people who had awful experiences. Thank God I made it safe here,” he said.

Rapalo said he built a life in the Valley with the help of a family that took him shortly after he crossed the Rio Grande.

The high school graduate is working towards a college degree to teach high school Spanish. He said his goal is to become a U.S. citizen.

“Since I was a little kid, my plans were always to be part of the Army, and I tried here when I got out of school. I tried to join the army but my immigration status didn’t let me join,” he said.

Rapalo said he isn’t afraid he’ll be deported. He said he made a promise to God that if he made it to the U.S. safely, he’d be the best citizen he could.

Despite the crackdown, the arrests won’t have an impact how this Valley gang operates.

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