Payments in installments, night walks, law of silence: the rules of the canoe business in Mauritania

Let’s put a town out of sandy empty space between Mali and Mauritaniaany one next to the border at the southeastern peak of the line that appears on the maps, drawn in its day by European colonialism: El Sérabo, for example, or El Barka or Fassale.

In the town, a neighborhood made up of 60 families, each poorer one, is tired of seeing sad faces every day in the smoky setting of their lives, increasingly arid due to climate change and increasingly dangerous due to Al’s Sahelian franchises. Qaeda and ISIS that gain power by causing terror.

These families have in common the fed up with misery, the thirst of their livestock, and offspring in the house of five, six, nine children. There is also a cousin, a relative in the town who in turn has another cousin, another member of the clan. in Nouadhibou, in the labyrinth of thousands of boats of one of the largest fishing ports in Africa.

Una noche de un mes especialmente duro se ponen de acuerdo para un intento de paliar su miseria. Cada familia elegirá un hijo para lanzarlo al mar, un hijo seleccionado para mandarlo en cayuco a Europa. Si llega, podrá enviar dinero al pueblo cuando encuentre un trabajo. Si no llega, mala suerte.