a girl cooking in Guatemala

How this quiet region in Guatemala became the epicenter of migration

A child's death at the U.S. border put a spotlight on the peaceful highlands, where more people than ever are fleeing for the United States.

In Yalambojoch, Catarina Gomez Lucas makes her family's tortillas every morning. In December, her brother Felipe died in U.S. custody after crossing the border with their father. Residents of their region of Huehuetenango are leaving Guatemala for the U.S. in record numbers.

Photograph by Natalie Keyssar, National Geographic

Read This Next

This Hawaiian geneticist works to empower Indigenous peoples
Mystery dolphin deaths plague casino on the Las Vegas strip
Revealing the hidden lives of ancient Greek women

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet