Lourdes’s first child, and Enrique’s sister. Belky grew up in the care of her Aunt Rosa Amalia and Uncle Carlos. She eventually has a child of her own, and helps raise Enrique’s daughter Jasmín.
A member of the MS gang who befriends Enrique on the freight trains. It is this friendship that spares Enrique from being targeted by gang members.
Enrique’s uncle, and husband to Rosa Amalia. He tries to help Enrique sort through his troubles in Honduras, and sets him up with a job at a tire store.
Sonia Nazario’s maid, whose story inspired the author to write Enrique’s Journey.
Lourdes’s daughter with her ex boyfriend, Santos. Diana was born in the United States.
The protagonist of the story. Plagued by his mother's abandonment, Enrique leaves Honduras and braves the difficult journey north to reunite with Lourdes. Though Enrique has many personal problems - a drug addiction and serious resentments among them - he is also defined by his persistence, bravery, and incredible sense of hope.
Hipolito Reyes Larios
The bishop in Veracruz who inspires his parishioners to help the Central American migrants by showing them mercy and charity.
Enrique and María Isabel’s young daughter. Her existence becomes the motivation for Enrique's final journey, to become a father worthy of respect.
Enrique’s friend who accompanies him on his first failed attempt to the United States.
Mother of Belky, Enrique, and Diana. Lourdes left her children in Honduras to seek better employment opportunities in the United States. She lived in poverty most of her life, working menial jobs to send money home to her family. Lourdes always had faith that Enrique would one day return to her, but has trouble overcoming his resentments once he arrives.
Enrique’s paternal grandmother, who helped raise him as a child. Though generous, she has trouble battling his rebellious attitude and has to send him elsewhere.
Enrique’s girlfriend, Jasmín's mother. Marìa Isabel eventually joins Enrique in the United States, leaving her young daughter in Honduras.
Lourdes’s sister, who also travels to the United State seeking better employment with the hope of returning to Honduras and her children.
Carmen’s son, whose story of traveling through Mexico inspires Sonia Nazario to write Enrique's Journey.
Director of the Shelter of Jesus the Good Shepherd in Tapachula, Mexico. She helps migrants who have been severely injured by the trains. She is guided by her faith in God, and works tirelessly to ease the physical and spiritual struggles of the migrants.
A disheveled but lovable priest who is called “the champion” by migrants. He arranges meals, phone calls, clothing donations, and housing for migrants in Nuevo Laredo.
Lourdes’ sister who raises Belky in her absence. Rosa Amalia is married to Carlos.
A smuggler in Nuevo Laredo who takes Enrique across the border. He is a heroin addict who bribes local police officers so he can make money smuggling. He was killed in 2002.
A boyfriend of Lourdes, who lives with her in the U.S. and fathers Diana. He eventually disappears, presumably killed on a subsequent attempt to sneak into the U.S.
Lourdes's brother, with whom Enrique lives for a while in Honduras. Marco is a strong presence in the boy's life until he dies.
Enrique’s Journey Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Enrique’s Journey is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Enrique's reaction to his mother's virtual abandonment causes him to rebel and act out. She promises to come for Christmas, and he spends hours waiting for her at the door.... waiting for his mother, who never appears. He is angry, and much of his...