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Lucia’s Letter Wins A National Peabody Award and A New York Festival Best News Documentary/Special World Gold Medal

Lucia’s Letter describes one Guatemalan teenager’s trip with a coyote from Guatemala through Mexico to southwest Florida. The story is a composite of several local Mayan women’s experiences of becoming a coyote’s slave.

All of the women were raped, starved and drugged during the trip and then sold when they arrived in the U.S. Some ended up as indentured slaves in the vegetable fields and/or in brothels. Others were sold to men they were forced to marry. The letter was recorded in Spanish, English, two Mayan languages, Creole, and Mixteco.

It was taken to rural parts of Guatemala and distributed to 62 indigenous villages on CD. The hope is to warn other young women about the dangers they face if they decide to immigrate to the states via a coyote. This documentary tells the story of this effort through the women, trying to use Lucia’s Letter to convince mothers to stop sending their daughters to the states. We ask women in Guatemala

if it would stop them. And we ask one of the women who helped write and voice the letter if her travels were worth what she went through twenty years ago.