NAHJ memb. Cindy Carcamo among finalists for Livingston Awards for story on immigrant from Guatemala

NAHJ member Cindy Carcamo of the Orange County Register. In this photo, she is actually reporting on another story in Mexico, though the piece she is a finalist for was based in Guatemala. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Carcamo).

NAHJ member Cindy Carcamo is among the finalists for this year’s Livingston Awards for Young Journalists.

While Carcamo is a reporter for the Orange County Register in Southern California, her nomination is for a story she wrote for a literary magazine called Slake entitled “Return to Sender.”

One of her editors shared this note with Carcamo’s newsroom colleagues, “Cindy was nominated by Slake, a new LA-based literary magazine that published her story, ‘Return to Sender’. The in-depth narrative story chronicled the first 48 hours of a deportee’s life after his return to Guatemala. http://slake.la/features/return-to-sender.

Here’s Cindy’s description of the story, which she worked on after completing aRegister story that documented the flight of 117 deportees returned by federal immigration officials to Guatemala City:

‘The story required intense seat-of-the-pants reporting. After I secured a place on a deportation flight, run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, I had to quickly gather stories from the men at a Mesa, Ariz. detention facility who would soon get on the flight (some shackled to their seats to protect the flight crew).

I had to decide on the spot which of them would have the best story to tell and then persuade the returning deportee to allow me to tag along with him on his return journey on the flight and to his home village — wherever that would be.

Melvin Eliceo Súchite Hernandez, who doesn’t fit the many stereotypes of illegal immigrants, agreed to my request. He allowed me to shadow him on the flight to Guatemala City and then on a half-day’s bus ride to the northeast of the capital.’”

Here is the link to the entire list of finalists for the Livingston Awards:

http://www.livawards.org/winners

The winners will be announced on June 6, 2012.

Cindy is an alumna of California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

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