Desert Search

  • Mislead


    Most migrants are lead to believe they will walk from Mexico into the U.S. in a few hours. Instead, they travel for days through inhospitable terrain and dramatic temperatures changes with inadequate supplies and uncertain prospects.

  • "Somos amigos. Queremos ayudar a ustedes.'

    "Somos amigos. Queremos ayudar a ustedes.'

    'We are friends. We want to help you.'Voluteers from Los Samaritanos, a search team comprised of retirees, call out to migrants coming through the desert to offer food and medical help.

  • Always in Transition

    Always in Transition

    Migrants often follow riverbeds through the desert flatlands and take shelter from the glaring sun and Border Patrol under freeway overpasses.

  • Supply pack

    Supply pack

    A volunteer from Los Samaritanos leaves a supply package for migrants who might take shelter under the highway. Members of Los Samaritanos search the desert every day to try to aid migrants.

  • Supply Bags

    Supply Bags

    Supply bags with food and water are created by members of a retirement community who are unable to leave their homes, but want to help the migrants. They are left for migrants in places where their traces have previously been spotted.

  • 'Migrant Highway'

    'Migrant Highway'

    Footprints indicate where migrants have passed. The Samaritans leave supply packs at such places.

  • Campground


    The shelter of trees alongside a well worn path is a stopping point for migrants. Most travel is done at night, out of the glaring sun.

  • Memory of desert nights

    Memory of desert nights

    Desert temperatures are often freezing at night, in stark contrast to the heat of the day.

  • No public access, officially

    No public access, officially

    Migrants cross private property en route to a better life. Some property owners complain about litter left behind, others are sympathetic to the migrant plight.

  • Yesterday's Life

    Yesterday's Life

    As they near 'civilization,' migrants abandon their few belongings and change into a fresh set of clothes to distract attention from their journey.

  • Waiting


    A discarded water jug by the road was likely left by a migrant in hiding, waiting for a pick up after the long desert journey.

  • The next stretch

    The next stretch

    An early morning tire track at the side of the road is likely from a vehicle picking up migrants in the vast Arizona desert.