SAN SALVADOR – A group of at least 100 Salvadorans, including women and children, set out on foot for the United States in a caravan on Wednesday, joining their more than 3,000 countrymen who since last October have undertaken the arduous trek northwards.
The caravan, which was organized on the social networks, departed at about 7:10 am from Salvador del Mundo Square in this capital, where some of the migrants had arrived on Tuesday night.
The migrants are intending to join up with the more than 700 Hondurans who on Monday left their country and on Tuesday crossed the border into Guatemala with the ultimate goal of entering the US, despite the heavy security measures put in place at the US-Mexico border on the orders of US President Donald Trump.
The caravan – the first to set out from El Salvador in 2019 – initially is heading for western El Salvador and is being escorted by National Civil Police officers.
One of the caravan members, who asked to be identified simply as Armando, told EFE that he made the decision to set out with eight family members, including two children, due to “the lack of opportunities provided by (this) country.”
“This country is for the people who have money and live comfortably, but we poor people have to leave ... It’s difficult to leave El Salvador, but we don’t want to return because of the situation we’re in,” he said.
Before departing on the trek, the migrants were approached by personnel from the PDDH human rights office and the DGME migration directorate, who passed out maps and information about shelters that they could go to along the way.
The deputy minister for Salvadorans abroad, Liduvina Magarin, also came to the plaza to warn the migrants of the risks they could face on the journey to the US.
She told the group that none of the thousands of migrants who in October set out in caravans for the US “has managed to enter” that country and most of them are still in Tijuana, Mexico, waiting for an unknown amount of time to possibly have the chance to enter the US.
More than 3,000 Salvadorans – including women and children – in late October set out in caravans for the US, just like thousands of Hondurans did – virtually all of them fleeing violence, poverty and unemployment in their homelands.