Industrious from the start, Pablo began styling hair at the age of 14 and opened his own barbershop in Honduras when he was 22. His customers confided in him, and he would listen to them without judgment or criticism. But after a falling out with one of his customers, who also happened to be a powerful gang member, Pablo’s life took a turn for the worse.

He and his partner took a bus to Guatemala and then the Mexican border, where they crossed the river by boat and rode a van to the nearest town, Palenque. When they arrived, they were out of cash. Along the way, they had been extorted by almost everyone they encountered. To make matters worse, they were stopped by immigration officers, detained, and deported back to Honduras.

Their escape had been in vain.

As soon as they returned to Honduras, fearing for her son’s safety, Pablo’s mother collected more money and sent them back on their way.

This time, they were better prepared. With tips collected from other migrants during their first journey, they managed to avoid the immigration officers, reach one of Palenque’s migrant shelters, and approach Asylum Access Mexico (AAMX) for help in applying for asylum.

Pablo and his partner now run a successful barbershop thanks to the support of their neighbors and legal support from Asylum Access Mexico.

“I wouldn’t have been able to open my business without the documents. [The other business owners] really pressured me to close but I persevered, and once my documents were approved, they couldn’t close my business. Thanks to the lawyers at AAMX, I’m still here, working.”