The Houston ChronicleLA UNION, El Salvador - Jose Escobar passes the time on a plastic chair at the house of an aunt he hadn't seen in 24 years by calling his wife and two children in Houston through Facebook.
"Walter, don't talk too much at school, OK," he tells his 7-year-old son on a recent morning. "You'll get in trouble for that, and then you won't get to go to karate. And tell Carmen I love her."
The heat is as scorching as the hours are long. He dips his shirt into a bucket of cool water, pulling it on for relief. The only pause from the monotony is a lone screeching chicken and a local soccer game he attends with his cousin. He doesn't feel safe walking around this neighborhood, once named for its flowers but now plagued by a murderous street gang whose members lurk in nearly every corner, noticing any stranger.