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The Things They Carried: Photos Give Names To Those Who Died Crossing The Border

A journalist is using photographs she’s taken to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border.

Yo Tengo Nombre - Meme

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A journalist is using photographs she’s taken to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border.

Jen Reel is a former multimedia editor for the Texas Observer, and she’s created an online photo gallery. There, people looking for missing loved ones can scan through images of belongings found on or with unidentified people who’ve died trying to cross the border in South Texas.

In 2017, when Reel was still with the Texas Observer, she told Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about the project, which is called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name.

MORE: Database of Exhumed Objects Aims To ID Migrants Who Perished (NPR)

  • A stuffed lion, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A stuffed lion, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A pair of socks, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A pair of socks, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A crucifix, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A crucifix, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A wrestling mask, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A wrestling mask, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • An inhaler, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    An inhaler, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A Guinness t-shirt, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A Guinness t-shirt, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A locket, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A locket, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A cell phone, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A cell phone, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A bra, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A bra, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A keychain, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A keychain, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A baseball, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A baseball, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
  • A backpack, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
    A backpack, part of an online photo database called Yo Tengo Nombre — or I Have a Name, which uses photographs of found objects to help identify the remains of those who’ve died trying to cross the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Jen Reel/Texas Observer)
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