Caravan of Seven Thousand Migrants

They have walked more than 40 kilometers from Tapachula in two days. Photo Édgar H. Clemente

Huixtla, Chiapas. The caravan of migrants which calls itself the Exodus from Poverty, which began its journey in Tapachula – bordering Guatemala – on Sunday, December 24th, walked about 30 kilometers yesterday, from the Álvaro Obregón ejido to the municipality of Huixtla, Chiapas.

In the middle of Christmas, the contingent of about seven thousand non-nationals, mainly Central Americans and Caribbeans, marched since the morning for about seven hours under intense heat of more than 30 degrees Celsius.

“It is really difficult, very hard to come walking like this with a suitcase, with my child, it has not been easy, we wish we had something to leave, that someone would give us permission to continue,” commented the Honduran Bertha del Cid while pushing a stroller with her three year old son. “It has been a horrible Christmas, I have slept on the street, I have no money, it has been horrible,” she said on the brink of tears.

In the middle of Christmas, the undocumented marched for some seven hours in intense heat. Photo: Édgar H. Clemente

The 32-year-old Central American asked for help from the government, since her little boy suffers from asthma and she also has another son who stayed in Honduras and who suffers from mental illness.

“My child is ill and I am exposing him to getting sick,” she said, distressed.

Luis García Villagrán, from the Center for Human Dignification CA, regretted the insensitivity of the authorities to the drama of families seeking a better opportunity in life because they are fleeing violence and poverty in their countries.

For this reason, he insisted that they will continue their journey until they obtain an answer that allows the migrants to continue on their way to the north and other regions of the country, since in the south they suffer from the lack of jobs.

He complained that if the government had the will, it could serve the undocumented in other offices in the country, since those in the south are saturated.

The Mexican Refugee Aid Commission in Tapachula alone has processed more than half of the almost 137,000 asylum seekers from right across the country.

The members of the caravan spent a sad Christmas Eve and a worse Christmas after leaving Tapachula on Sunday morning in the hope of reaching the United States.

Fanny Rivas bought white bread, ham and cheese to prepare some sandwiches as a Christmas dinner for herself, her husband and three children with whom she is traveling.

The Honduran family did not have enough chicken or cakes that were distributed by the Catholic Church and members of society in the Álvaro Obregón ejido, where the contingent arrived after walking 13 kilometers on the first day.

After dinner, they set up a tent that they had been given to sleep in for the six- and two-year-old children, as well as a four-month-old baby.

The couple spread some sheets on the ground of the park, which was decorated with Christmas motifs and colored lights that contrasted with the tired and distraught faces of the undocumented immigrants.

Original text and photos by Edgar H Clemente in La Jornada.
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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