"I said slotxo goodbye to my family and left with nothing," said Mohamed, a 30-year-old from Morocco.
Speaking to Spanish broadcaster RTVE, he gave details of how he had joined the record number of migrants who have illegally entered Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta since Monday.
Like many, he said employment was his main reason for trying to make the crossing.
"I want to work and help my family. All of my friends, we want to work."
Around half of the 8,000 migrants who have entered have been sent back, Spanish officials say. Dozens of young men queued up to re-enter Morocco on Wednesday morning.
According to Spanish news agency Efe, Moroccan police have now sealed the border area to prevent any more crossing attempts.
Spain's Ceuta and Melilla enclaves have become magnets for African migrants trying to reach Europe.
However, the unprecedented numbers that crossed the border this week have exacerbated diplomatic tensions between Spain and neighboring Morocco.
What happened this week?
The migrants - many using inflatable rings and rubber dinghies - started arriving in Ceuta in the early hours of Monday. While many were young men, whole families and around 1,500 children also entered.
At least one person died making the crossing this week.
On Tuesday, Spain deployed troops to help Ceuta's border police. Dramatic scenes were captured offshore as families waded through the water and officers from Spain's Guardia Civil went into the sea to rescue young children.