Migrant caravan ready to start new march through Mexico

    22 de octubre de 2018

    Tapachula, Mexico, Oct 22 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Honduran migrants in a caravan that seeks to march through Mexico to reach the United States signed up Monday for a new crossing of the southeastern state of Chiapas, defying the immense fatigue they were feeling after 10 days on the road.

    After a wearying 40-km (24-mile) march that brought them this Sunday across the border between Guatemala and Mexico to the city of Tapachula, many in the caravan passed the night in the downtown plaza and had it overflowing with blankets and backpacks.

    Around 6:30 am, many migrants began to awake as the sun came up, still tired but determined to reach the United States.

    "We have to be strong and keep fighting our way ahead. Nothing can stop us but the hand of God. Let's move on with trust in our faith, which is most important for reaching our goal," Cynthia Carolina, 22, told EFE.

    She was traveling with her 5-year-old son Daniel de Jesus, carrying a backpack and wearing a pair of flimsy sandals.

    The caravan with which she was migrating was made up of some 2,000 people on their way to the Mexico-US border, a long trek of more than 2,000 km (1,200 miles).

    "God gives us the strength and we have the will to keep going, and if we carry on, we'll make it," Jose Jeovanny Mateo, 20, told EFE.

    This Monday the contingent will travel from Tapachula to Huixtla, some 35 km. The vast majority hike on foot, though some, if they have the money, take public transport.

    Such was the case of Isis Ramirez, 32, who by Monday had her feet badly damaged and bandaged up. "On the hike with all that heat and wearing shoes with rubber soles...it hurt my feet a little, but now I'm better," she told EFE.

    Most of the migrants who continued in the caravan this Monday illegally crossed the Suchiate River, which separates Guatemala from Mexico.

    Mexican immigration authorities, for their part, responded to a total of 1,028 applications for asylum from migrants that entered through the border town of Ciudad Hidalgo. These people have been taken to a holding facility until their migratory status is determined.

    The caravan started out Oct. 13 from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula with less than 5,000 people.

    According to the Guatemalan government, more than 2,000 were sent back from Guatemala to Honduras.