Hide in the bushes until you see it rolling up. If it’s slow enough, run alongside to catch the ladder. Correle, you will hear from the people already sitting on top of the train. You will travel with them. Some have done it two, three times, and it’s a long trip from the south of Mexico all the way to el Norte, so ask if you need anything.
For the route: you can go east, jump off in Reynosa and walk into Texas. Or go west to stop in Nogales and cross into Arizona, but that’s double the distance and you have to ride through the desert. When the sun is high, go down and hide between wagons for shade. Cuidado when you sleep, people fall, get their legs cut by the wheels and bleed to death on the tracks.
Then there are the drug cartels: Sinaloa, Tijuana, Los Zetas. Son todos malos. The train will slow for them and they will walk up and down asking for money. Give them what they want. There are enough bad people to fill hundreds of trains, but there are some good ones, too. When you see others sticking their hands out the side of the wagon, do the same: women in the town of Patrona stand next to the tracks passing out water, bread and frijoles.
You will have to change trains, 15 times. When you jump out, keep running after you touch the ground or the other jumpers will fall over you. If you are lucky, you can make the whole journey in 20 days. Others take two, three months. This train is a bestia, but don’t lose hope. You are going to America.