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World Water Day Writing Contest

In March 2010, the Pulitzer Center again partnered with Helium to produce the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing contest. In this round, contestants were challenged to craft essays related to international water issues with the following prompt:

Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation claims 4,500 lives a day. What should we do about it?

Read winning World Water Day writing contest essay by Winn Mete

Altar, Sonora: A Dangerous Crossing

After leaving Altar, migrants face a variety of threats, like drug cartels, bandits, the environment and US Border Patrol. They often get lost or disoriented in the desert and depend on the Border Patrol, or Mexico's Grupo Beta, to find them and save them from dehydration or hypothermia. The ones who are picked up by the border patrol are usually deported or repatriated to Nogales, Sonora, where they will rest up and prepare for their next attempt at crossing.

David Rochkind / Pulitzer Center

Life of a Migrant in Altar, Sonora

Migrants flood into Altar, Sonora before making the dangerous journey across the Sonoran Desert and into the United States. They often pass through here after being deported from the US, as they try to get back home or to organize another crossing.

Drug Cartels Imperil Immigrants in the Desert

See Related Slideshow by David Rochkind on the Los Angeles Times site.

Reporting from Altar, Mexico — On a cloudless afternoon in northern Sonora, migrants and drug runners lounge in equal numbers under scattered mesquite trees, playing cards or sipping water. The sun climbs high and the temperature rises well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In such heat, nothing, human or otherwise, moves more than required.