Aouatif, Lamiae and Natlia are in their early twenties and live in Barcelona, in ‘La Ribera’ neighbourhood. Originally, they are from Morocco and Mexico.
They help unaccompanied immigrant youngsters from Morocco to stay away from glue sniffing. They keep convincing the owners of the shops in the neighbourhood to stop selling glue to the kids.
Unaccompanied Minors from Morocco make the trip to Spain by hiding under trucks or buses on ferries from Tangier, in northern Morocco, or in overloaded “pateras” – small, precarious speed boats run by professional smugglers.
However, for some of the boys, the migration process does not begin in Tangier. Rather, it begins months or even years before making this treacherous journey, when they leave their homes in rural areas in the center and south of Morocco and move to Tangier with the aim of crossing to Spain. They make the street their place and way of living, organize themselves according to their places of origin, and become the most vulnerable of the migrating boys.
Once in Barcelona they are called ‘los niños de la cola’, meaning ‘the kids of the glue’, because some of them become addicted to the glue due to lack of opportunities. They have many obstacles to accessing education and with no expectation of a better future.