MAPASTEPEC, Mexico – “I’m going to reach Texas,” “I’m fine but exhausted,” two migrants are overheard saying at an Internet cafe in this town in southeastern Mexico.
Meanwhile, dozens of other migrants wait patiently to use one of the 15 computers at the Cyber Pc Express to speak with their loved ones by video call.
One of the screens goes on and voices are heard, as another migrant makes a video call from this Internet cafe in Mapastepec, Chiapas state.
A young man sits in front of an old computer and smiles as a woman – his mother – appears on the screen.
“She asked me how I am, how I’m going. She told me to go back because she heard bad news, but I told her I was fine and that she should stay calm,” 24-year-old Honduran migrant Eduardo told EFE.
Honduras is the homeland of most of the 7,000 migrants making their way on foot to the Mexico-US border.
These are rare moments of rest during their journey, and they still must travel some 2,000 km (1,200 mi) to reach the border.
Rather than sounding nostalgic, the migrants seem happy to convey the good news: they are safe and sound after 13 days on the road.
“I miss them but I am on my way,” Eduardo said, who has been using Facebook to communicate with his friends and family.
Sitting next to Eduardo, Luis Fernando Paz makes a video call to his aunts and speaks to them about his health and his relationship with his girlfriend.
He told EFE that his whole family has helped him to make the journey north, sending him money to buy food.
Luis, who has family in the United States, joked about paying a “coyote” (migrant trafficker) to cross the border, while his aunts scolded him.
Sitting between two desks while charging his phone, Jose Pablo Montero, 35, said this was his fifth attempt to reach the US to find a “good job” to help his parents.
On the previous occasions he was deported after being apprehended by immigration agents in northern Mexico.
Jose has been travelling without any money, asking for spare change to buy food and other items like phonecards to speak with his loved ones.
“When I call them, I don’t feel sad. I am happy to hear their voices. They are genuinely concerned about me,” he told EFE.
Sitting on the other side of the Internet cafe, Jairo, 27, uses Facebook to communicate with his sister, Arely, who lives in Spain.
“I can send you 1,500 lempiras ($62). Where do I send them?” she writes, while Jairo thanks her but says he still doesn’t know where to receive a money transfer.
“I came because I am hopeful, and maybe she can help me so I can provide for my children,” the father of four told EFE.