Héctor and César, young Mexican friends in dire circumstances, flee their country through the only available means—being smuggled into the United States by “coyotes,” human traffickers. They travel inside the empty tank of a water truck that is abandoned in the desert. There they and the other illegal immigrants descend into a hell of thirst, hunger, fear, brutality, and spiritual confusion.
When César is injured, Héctor calls the only American listing in his friend’s phone. As Héctor tries to retain his sanity and humanity, he tells the unknown contact stories—about his Zapotec grandparents; about César’s moral conflict with a Mexican company introducing genetically modified corn; and about himself, including his thoughts on gods, the Roman Catholic church, and Jesus.
The Jaguar’s Children, which includes profanity and vulgarity, reveals the horrors of human trafficking and the power of story to give courage in humanity’s darkest hour. (Knopf Canada)