Approximately 2,000 migrants formed a caravan in San Pedro Sula on Honduras’ northern half and are headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border. But thousands of migrants from last year’s caravan are still there waiting for the chance to apply for asylum in the United States.
The first caravan consisting of 7,000 migrants that departed from Honduras in October prompted President Donald Trump to push for funding to build his border wall.
According to the Washington Post, Hondurans from across the country trekked to a bus terminal in San Pedro Sula in the hopes of being a part of the caravan. The departure was publicized in local news reports and via social media.
Jimmy Senteno, 23, lugged a small backpack and carried his 5-year-old daughter on his hip.
“I want to apply for asylum in the U.S., but I would stay in Mexico if I had to,” he said.
Senteno has been unable to find steady work and cannot leave his home even if he could find a job due to dangerous gang activity in his hometown of Comayagua.
“I know only some in the last caravan made it, but I have to try,” he said.
The migrant caravan hasn’t had it easy this go-round. It rained for hours on the group as they traveled on foot. Many tried to hop on buses or hitchhike. Women carried babies, and moms and dads trudged along with tired kids.
Lilian Palmera, 46, left Olancho in eastern Honduras with 11 members of her family in tow, including her 8-month-old granddaughter.
“The last caravan was only good for some people, but we want to try our luck because it’s impossible to live where we are from with crime and poverty,” she said.
“I don’t know where we are going right now, but we’ll get to the Guatemalan border and then north to the United States, for a better life.”
Thousands of Hondurans remain in Tijuana while awaiting the chance to apply for asylum. Mexican officials have been preparing for this second group’s arrival since learning about it.
Mexico’s Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero said at a news conference last week that the government intended to deploy guards to monitor 370 illegal crossing points at the border with Guatemala.
Official points of entry would be “controlled to prevent the entry of undocumented people.” Those that registered would be offered visas to stay and work in the country or travel toward the U.S. border with migration officials,” she noted.