Tales of survival: NYC migrants who braved violence and perilous treks grateful for fresh start in America

One New York City migrant fled Mexico with his family after being kidnapped and beaten by the cartels. Another left Venezuela with his family in search of a better life, prompting him to make the long journey up through the Darien Gap — where he encountered dead bodies in the jungle — to get to America.

Both migrants and their families are currently in a shelter in Long Island City, Queens, at a formerly four-star hotel called the Collective Paper Factory, located at 37-06 36th St.

Their harrowing stories are just two of the many that amNewYork Metro and Queens Post have uncovered over the past year. Others include the family of Yohandri Arevalo who made the journey with his wife and three children from Venezuela. Another is the story of Boubcrin el-Hakim, 25, an immigrant from Mauritania, who flew from Turkey to Colombia and then traveled through central America and Mexico to get to the U.S.