In the desolate desert plains of northeastern New Mexico, once the historic territory of feared Comanche Indians, an unlikely mix of immigrants arrived in the early 1900s to populate the mining town of Dawson. Seeking a new life for themselves and their families, Italians, Greeks, Croatians, Germans, Poles, and Irish settled there. Mexicans, Chinese, and Americans rounded out the mix.
In the fall of 1913, the second worst mining disaster in US history took place in Dawson. An accidental explosion resulted in the deaths of 263 miners, 146 of whom were Italian immigrants, 36 Greek and 29 Mexican. In the winter of 1923, ten years later, Dawson suffered another mining disaster. This time 123 miners died.
After two unimaginable tragedies, and far from their homelands, many of the immigrants in this close-knit mining town faced a deep question. In Europe, and Mexico they had stared death in the face. Escaping misery, unemployment, and starvation they journeyed to the ‘promised land’. Now, after the loss of fathers, sons, husbands, and compatriots, tragedy had enveloped their American Dream. To return home was to tempt fate. To remain required a deep faith to overcome tremendous loss. Caught between Scylla and Charybdis, they had to decide how and where to place their next step.