Lilian Dubon

As Interviewed by Gabriel Keller, March 16, 2018

Lilian Dubon: In Her Own Words

When she was 13, Lilian Dubon walked nearly 1,800 miles in 57 days from Honduras to Houston. This is her story about why she came to Texas and what difficulties she experienced on her way.
My name is Lilian Dubon, I work as a housekeeper and personal assistant. When I was 8 years old, my dad came to [the U.S.], we had a very difficult time because my mom didn’t know anything about him and she was losing the restaurant and she was losing her workers and she didn’t know how to keep up with us at the restaurant, and then she decided to come here to this country.
I didn’t have any parents with me and that was difficult. She left me and my siblings with my grandma, and my grandma did not like my mother. She wouldn’t take care of us the way a grandmother would do. Sometimes we would only eat once a day, and very little. We moved [in] with our uncle, and he lived where all them bad gangs were. And we would see them killing each other in front of our house. I remember one day my sister almost fainted! We were playing outside and we saw them stabbing each other right in their head! And we were panicking and we were trying to move our sister like, “Hey move, let’s go inside! Let’s go inside!” and she just couldn’t move. It was bad and we would see that almost every other day. We were always afraid of that.
With our grandma, she was really mean to us, but the town was so safe! And very small, we knew everybody, it was good. Now we move with our uncle, that city is very dangerous. Lots and lots of crime. So we were scared all the time. We kinda knew either we were gonna be dead, like somebody would’ve killed us, or we were gonna get involved with gangs. So I don’t think it would’ve been good for me to stay over there.
We got out from Honduras in August around the 15th and we got here October 11th. All the way from Honduras to here was with my sister [and a few strangers,] she was 11 years old. It was raining a lot and we used to sleep on the ground. It was bad to sleep and walk, it was so hard because it gets heavy after walking in mud, and the rain was not helpful at all, and because you’re hiding! You need to be where the grass is tall, and trees and all of that. At day, we used to stay just laying down and get up and walk a little, but whenever we would know that there’s no people around at night, walk, so we wouldn’t get caught.
There were some mothers that were coming with us and they would cry a lot for their kids. That was sad to see because they didn’t know when they would see their kid again. There were dads [also that] worried about their family. And there was a pregnant girl, she was 16 years old, and we were taking care of her all the time.
From Brownsville we got a taxi, and we got to Houston, and my mom was waiting for us in Houston.
When you got there, what did you and your family do?
Hug. We just didn’t wanna let go of eachother.