He is a writer who has won many awards and published a total of 3 books. He applies his dual-culture life experiences to telling stories both from his Mexican and American backgrounds. His book ‘The Devils Highway’ is a non-fiction account of immigrants from Mexico who get lost in the desert of Arizona. Three years after this happened, Luis, wrote their story. The result was an award winning book, “The Devils Highway’. He won the Pulitzer Prize finalist, a “book of the year. His years of experience as a teacher of literature and writing gave him mileage in his writing experience.
He won his first award in 1994, the Colorado Book Award in poetry. He has written all genres, naming from poetry, short stories, novels, memoirs, non-fictions and interviews (Urea, 2014). When he is writing The Devil’s Highway’ Luis Urea discusses the difficult journey that some twenty six men would undertake when crossing the southern Arizona desert from Mexico into the United States. It is a story of environmental extremes, greed, and humanity at its most depraved. Urea depicts the experiences of this group of men as they cross the deadliest region of the continent and suffer a great betrayal.
The author writes the book to tell the story of twenty-six determined men from Mexico, attempting to cross the border to America. He explains on their determination and hopes of attaining the “American dream” (Urea, The Devils Highway- A True Story, 2004). On the other side of the border are American men who are waiting to ensure that the twenty-six do not make it into the American side (Urea, 2014). In May of 2001, these men attempted to cross the border into the desert at southern Arizona. The route they used was among the most dangerous places called the Devil’s Highway.
Luis Alberta Easier tells the Story Of how of the twenty-six who crossed; only twelve came sack out. He gives a vivid description of the tales of these determined groups from both sides of the border. He expounds on why each of the sides was determined to conquer the others. The author focuses on the particular subjects and circumstances that led these people to make the decision to face death in the eye (Urea, 2014) risk their lives and venture on this path. Urea seems to focus on the assumption that most people appreciate that life is better in America than it is in Mexico (Urea, 2004).
The author expounds that harsh economic times and desperation may have driven the Mexicans into aging this life-threatening journey. The question Luis Alberta urea seems to ask at the beginning of the book is, is the desperation to follow the “American dream” enough to make people risk their lives? Alberta introduces the readers to the individual immigrants. He shares their dreams, aspirations, fears and motivations of life (Urea, 2004). At an early stage, he allows the reader to interact with the readers and know each of them in person.
He reaches out to Mexico and its roots. Through his eyes, the reader interacts with missionaries, explorers, human traffickers and smugglers who served else hope (Urea, 2004). The author seems to recreate the experiences of the immigrants, well enough to help the reader identify with the immigrants. Luis seems to attempt to enable the reader to relate with what must have motivated the immigrants to take the risk. He is determined to help the readers understand the risk the immigrants are taking.
The devils highway is a desert region near the US-Mexico border. The book begins with a description of the devil’s highway. He paints it as a dangerous place with a host of threats to life. These threats are both man-made and natural. Many army and air force operations have been carried out around the area and as a result, it is possible to often run into decomposing human bodies. All these, according to Luis have contributed to the name. Through their experiences, the people of this area have also become hostile.
They use their hostility as a defense mechanism. The American tribes around the area had a bad reputation among the Mexicans (Urea, 2004). This goes a long way to explain the brevity required on the part of the Mexicans to venture out. When these twenty six men get to the American side, they were in a delirious state from al the traveling, hot weather and locals’ hostility (Urea, 2004). Alberta goes on to give a narration of the conditions of life in the Mexican side. People keep getting poor, no matter how hard they work.
The cost of living has gone high and the price of commodities is also over the top (Urea, 2004). The people continuously afford less and life has become hard. Rampant disease and fast spreading violence has also become a problem. It is under these circumstances that the people approached one Don Mom Garcia, a recruiter of the northern coyotes. It is with him, that they plan their exit strategy, through he devils highway and hopefully into America (Urea, 2004). An average of fifteen hundred walkers leaves, Mexico in a day but only make it to near the devils highway.
In May Of 2001, the newspapers begin to report that a group of walkers, who were named, ‘the Weldon 26’ had managed to slip through border patrol and pass. It is at this point that the real problems for these twenty-six began. Fourteen of them, were declared date soon late. Luis Alberta Urea points out that the guides to the Weldon 26 did very little or nothing right at all. He alludes to the fact that this could have been one of the seasons they faced a lot of problems. Their leader was a nineteen year old who had his clients not died; he would have earned three hundred dollars for his job.
Luis states that that group had been the biggest the young Quadrangular boy had ever guided (Urea, 2004). Alberta points out that the sun,’ivory are branded heroes. The next problem they faced was the transportation of corpses, as it was really expensive. The process costs approximately twenty-five thousand dollars and judging from how the economy of Mexico was doing, that would have been quite unaffordable. The survivors are traumatized and Luis points to the fact that hey refuse to speak about the Yum 14, those who had died (Urea, 2004).
The strength of this book major lies in Lull’s ability to vividly tell a story. He takes the reader down memory lane and into a time and place where the story was happening. He intros cues the reader to the characters, giving the reader time to get to know each of them. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs perspective about this period in history as well as anyone who appreciates a good read. This is because it gives a lot of insight. This book would help anyone in ministry get perspective as well as understand owe those people functioned.