Limited economic opportunities in Kazakhstan became the reason for their migration. The woman took such a desperate step together with her two minor sons, 15 and 5 years old. “We flew from Almaty to the Dominican Republic. We flew to the Dominican Republic and stayed there for two days, then flew to Costa Rica. From Costa Rica to Nicaragua. There we immediately boarded a bus and went to Honduras.”
“There are coyotes (people who transport migrants for money) who help in Honduras. They met us." These people took the migrants to Guatemala. And already from Guatemala they came to Mexico. Akbota says the road was safe but difficult. She turned to Kazakh telegram chats for advice, and paid for the services of “assistants” in cash.
“We spent a lot of time in Mexico. We arrived in the city of Mekhinali and from there we went to the US border. American border guards were waiting for us there; they took us to the border checkpoint and released us the next day. A day later we were in Arizona."
From Arizona, all the migrants went in different directions. Akbota and her children reached New York. The family settled in a temporary center organized by the city hall.
Akbota’s eldest son, Miras, was not particularly happy about his mother’s offer to move to America. “All my friends remained in Astana. I didn’t really want to leave.”
At his new school, the boy has already made friends with two classmates. Miras says he played basketball in Astana and intends to continue playing this sport. He also wants to try his hand at other sports and receive a sports grant for higher education.
“My son was a little homesick. He missed his friends and school in Kazakhstan. He began to feel better as the school year began. He goes for walks with new friends. They go to the movies, walk around Manhattan,” Akbota said.