17th Jun, 2019

Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America. Available now from Haymarket Books.

“This book fills a crucial missing piece in today’s immigration debate.  Everyone who cares about immigration—and about migrants—should read it.”

—Aviva Chomsky, Professor at Salem State University, author of Undocumented

Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America


Edited by Jonathan Freedman and Steven Mayers

Published by Haymarket Books

$19.95 / £14.99

Read an extract published in the New York Times here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/15/opinion/i-left-el-salvador-to-protect-my-family-it-didnt-work.html

Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America is a collection of arresting narratives of exile, struggle, and hope. Expertly edited by pioneering human rights organisation Voice of Witness (voiceofwitness.org), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Freedman and oral historian Steven Mayers, Solito, Solita presents first-hand accounts of the increasingly dangerous migration routes from Central America to the United States.

We hear the story of Adrián, from Guatemala City, whose mother was shot to death before his eyes. He refused to join a gang, rode across Mexico atop cargo trains, crossed the US border as a minor, and was handcuffed and thrown into ICE detention on his eighteenth birthday. We hear the story of Rosa, a Salvadoran mother fighting to save her life as well as her daughter’s after death squads threatened her family. Together they trekked through the jungles on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, where masked men assaulted them. We also meet Gabriel, who after surviving childhood sexual abuse fled to the United States, and through study, legal support and work, is now attending university.

These intimate and deeply human portraits reveal young people fleeing violence, persecution, and poverty in the hope of a life of basic dignity and security. Some find it; others only discrimination, detention, and deportation. The title of the book, Solito, Solita, reflects how they all make their journeys: alone, alone.

From Donald Trump’s border wall, to the UK’s “hostile environment”, to the deaths caused by Fortress Europe, the world is becoming less and less hospitable to migrants and refugees. Our media is awash with sensationalised stories designed to whip up hatred and fear. Solito, Solita provides the most powerful antidote, foregrounding the voices of those so often silenced.

To order Solito, Solita for your bookstore at trade discount, please contact our distributors, Grantham Book Services, at orders@gbs.tbs-ltd.co.uk, or order through your usual wholesaler.

Customers in North America can order the book direct from Haymarket with a 30% discount: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1275-solito-solita 

Customers in the UK can buy the book through any bookstore. Order online from Waterstones here:


If you would like to review the book, enquire about running an extract, or featuring it in some other way in your publication, please write to uk@haymarketbooks.org

Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America is edited by Jonathan Freedman and Steven Mayers and published by Haymarket Books. ISBN: 9781608466184, RRP: £14.99