On October 13, 2018, hundreds of people began to march from San Pedro Sula in Honduras toward the United States border. People from other Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua joined in. The caravan continues to grow and now there are approximately 7,500 migrants in this troupe. It includes hundreds of men, women, and children, some in strollers.
Why are they leaving their countries?
Thousands of Hondurans facing violence and unemployment decided to look for a better future. The path ahead of them is long and they will pass through several unfriendly borders. Through their journey they will have to sleep on the streets or in makeshift camps with little clean water and sanitation. People walking and hitchhiking also know that when—if—they reach the US border, they likely will not be allowed to cross. Their children may be taken from them. They may be arrested and sent back. But they press on anyway, fleeing gang violence and poverty.
Where are they going?
They are making the trip to the closest US border. Here is a map to help you understand their path. The trip from San Pedro de Sula to the closest US border crossing in Texas is approximately 2,000 miles.
Where are they now?
The group crossed through Guatemala to get to Mexico. Mexican officials stopped them at the bridge between the Guatemala and the Mexican border. Eventually, people on the bridge formed lines and entered Mexico. Mexican officials tried to deter the migrant caravan from moving ahead. They took some of the migrants to refugee camps and gave them food and shelter. Mexican officials offered some of the migrants who registered for asylum temporary work permits, which promises shelter, medical attention, schooling and jobs. Few migrants grew weary of the long trek and lack of food and returned home.
But a large portion of the caravan continues to make their way towards the Mexico -US border. They are currently approximately 1000 miles away from the US border.
What awaits them at the border?
The U.S. President Donald Trump has been pushing the caravan to turn around and head back home. He has threatened to cut US aid to their governments. He has also promised to send troops to the border to prevent them from entering.