Books for changing the world
Solito, Solita
Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America

They are a mass migration of thousands of young people from Central America, yet each one travels alone: solito, solita.

They are a mass migration of thousands, yet each one travels alone. Solito, Solita, (“Alone, Alone”), is a Voice of Witness collection of oral histories that tell the stories of youth refugees fleeing their home countries and traveling for hundreds of miles seeking safety and protection in the United States.

These powerful narrators describe why they fled their homes, what happened on their dangerous journeys through Mexico, how they crossed the border, and their ongoing struggles to survive in the United States. In an era of fear, xenophobia, and outright lies, these stories amplify the compelling voices of immigrant youth. What can they teach us about abuse and abandonment, bravery and resilience, hypocrisy and hope? They bring us into their hearts and onto streets filled with the lure of freedom and fraught with violence. From fending off kidnappers with knives and being locked in freezing holding cells to tearful reunions with parents, Solito, Solita’s evocative stories bring to light the experiences of young people struggling for a better life across the border.

Steven Mayers is a writer, oral historian, and professor of English at the City College of San Francisco.

Jonathan Freedman is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author, and writing mentor at the City College of San Francisco.

Voice of Witness, founded by Dave Eggers, Mimi Lok, and Lola Vollen, is a nonprofit organization that advances human rights by amplifying unheard voices.

    • Praise for Jonathan Freedman’s The Last Brazil of Benjamin East:
      "Tender-hearted and provocative from beginning to end, The Last Brazil of Benjamin East is an engaging read and destined to be an award winner." 
      -- San Francisco Book Review

    • "A spirited, hopeful novel that serves as a reminder that change is always possible." 
      -- Kirkus Reviews 
    • "The story is engaging and Benjamin is unforgettable: a complicated, and sympathetic character who captured and kept my interest. The prose is clear, smart, funny, and knowing. The insistent search for meaning shines through." 
      -- Robert Koppel, author of Why Love?
    • "Jonathan Freedman is "a beautiful prose stylist...a very provocative writer."
-- Patricia A. O'Connell, Commonweal

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