Following beaches in Greece, Italy and elsewhere, several areas of Spain on the north coast of Africa this week became a hot spot in the European war over the migration of people from the poorest parts of the world experiencing conflict, poverty and other crises.
In a massive march that disrupted Spanish rule, more than 8,000 people marched around the border and swam from Morocco to the Spanish-controlled city of Ceuta.
Spanish authorities rescued two bodies from the waves, all Moroccan boys.
Some swimmers knelt and prayed before departing from the Moroccan coast to the Mediterranean, hoping to find a place in Ceuta and, from there, to make new lives in Europe.
Others swam with their luggage. Weak swimmers struggled with the waves and the tides.
The barefoot swimmer arrived in Ceuta looking so tired that he could not pull himself right away from the waves. He lay prostrate on the ground, terrified, with his right hand holding the wet sand. The man later hugged a Spanish Red Cross employee who comforted him.
The migrants boarded speedboats. Another small boat with 14 boys packed into the boat floated in the water. They used empty bottles to redeem them. Someone swam behind him, holding his back.
Driven to close holes in porous sidewalks, Spanish soldiers wearing jackets full of leather jackets gathered short boys in Bermuda, tracksuits and football jerseys with the names of the biggest sports stars.
The soldiers chased away the refugees and the refugees wearing empty shoes and sandals. At night, some of the streets in Ceuta could be heard rumbling and running.
On the Moroccan side, many young men flocked to Ceuta in safe-sound, flowering shrubs.
After being sent to the high border, the Spanish army looked out for the holes while the migrants gathered on the other side, on a rocky shoreline and in the dry mountains overlooking Ceuta.
The Spanish military dropped tear gas on the swelling, a deadly smoke that followed the twisted white pumpkins.