MAPASTEPEC, Mexico – On foot or trying to hitch a ride, more than 1,000 Central American migrants are crossing Mexico headed for the United States in a caravan that this year has multiplied its number due to the difficult situation in Honduras.
Days of the so-called Migrants’ Way of the Cross, a name given the migration because it coincides with Holy Week, begin early – the migrants set out at 5:00 am to take advantage of the cool hours and avoid the blazing sun.
Seated or lying on blankets on the ground in the town of Mapastepec, the Central Americans rested in the shade after hours of walking, though some were able to travel part of the way in vehicles.
Among the migrants was Donaldo Enrique Romero, whose cap, bearing the picture of an American flag and an eagle, said “The United States is the goal.”
Tired of the threats and the political crisis in his country, which, he said, have raised the cost of living, this Honduran reached the southern Mexican city of Tapachula near the Guatemalan border last January.
In Honduras “I was attacked and they were threatening me – I don’t want to live like that,” he told EFE at a resting place accompanied by his family, and where some 1,200 migrants had assembled to take part in the latest caravan.
After weeks of trying to complete an immigration application that went nowhere – it was all “too slow” – Donald decided to join the Migrants’ Way of the Cross in an attempt to reach Mississippi, where he was awaited by family members already settled there.
Like Donaldo, there are many in the caravan who already have their dear ones on the other side of the border. Josue Deras, 21, another Honduran, said that one of his friends is in Nebraska, working in construction.
His plan is to be in the US for three or four years to “go out and find work, a future, to someday have a family.”
He said that in his country, “there’s no way to make money,” and that in the countryside a worker like he was makes around $5.00 a day, “which isn’t enough to buy anything.”
The organizers estimate that in the entire caravan there are some 500 women and children. The Salvadoran Ivi Jeannette Amaya Gonzalez, with a 10-month-old daughter and another age 4 years, is aware that this is a hard road for the little girls to travel, but both she and her husband are willing to take the risk because they want to give them “a future.”
If their plan to go live in the US should fail, they’ll go elsewhere, because they’re not going back to El Salvador, where her husband’s cousin was murdered.
Among all these Central Americans, “we’ve never seen such a high percentage of Hondurans,” said the director in Mexico of People Without Borders, and the reason is the “militarization” of that country.