Arizona artist marks places where people died crossing into US

Cory Walsh

Alvaro Enciso’s project has lasted nine years, and, he says, will inevitably remain incomplete when he dies.

For “Donde mueren los sueños” (“Where Dreams Die”), he’s planted about 1,300 hand-made cross markers to date: each one at the place where someone died crossing the Sonoran Desert from Mexico into Arizona.


Enciso will give a talk at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, at the Holiday Inn in Missoula. Head to the board room on the lower level. It’s free, he’ll also answer questions and sell his art, the proceeds of which go back toward his project.

“This is a conceptual art piece that is about 40,000 square miles big, and it doesn’t have any commercial value,” he said, “but it is important to me because I’m sort of creating something out in the desert, where you don’t expect these monuments to be, these memorials.”

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According to the United Nations, almost 3,000 people have gone missing or died attempting to make this journey. Using GPS data from authorities that’s available through public records, Enciso goes out once a week and marks three to four spots

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