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Desert (noun):
A desert is a really hot, sandy, and dry place. In our narratives, people talk about crossing the Mojave and the Sonora Deserts which are in between Mexico and the United States. Immigrants cross through the deserts because they don´t have another way to cross and they want to hide from immigration.

"Jorge Zepeda crossed through the desert."

Also see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonoran_Desert
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_Desert