This aria for an unwritten opera, was written for the young Mexican tenor Luis Aguilar and commissioned by National Opera Studio for their programme 12:42 .
The story was devised and written by the composer, based on real facts.
Dionisio is traveling with his five year old son on La Bestia, the cargo train that many migrants board to travel, from the South to the North of Mexico to get to the border with the US.
He sings his son off to sleep in Maya, his mother tongue, but is disrupted by thieves boarding the train who steal his meagre belongings and clothes. He pleads for his life and that of his family.
He consoles his son by telling him about his dreams of a better life for them and the rest of his family back at home. He explains how he will be able to make enough money on the other side, (the US) for them to build a house with a bathroom and enough food so that none of them will starve. He consoles the little boy telling him he will see his mother on the other side and how happy she will be to see him.
On arriving he explains he has to go alone to the immigration officers who will look after him. Dionisio runs away in fear of being deported.
Unaccompanied children are placed in detention centres on the US border where any relatives tracked down will eventually claim then.
Illegal adults who are caught are deported.