Children among migrant caravan travelling across Latin America

World Today

The migrant caravan from Honduras has reached Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. U.S. President Donald Trump said he’ll begin to ‘cut off’ foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador if the migrants try entering the United States.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports.

A man from Honduras comforts his infant child, who arrived just weeks before his father decided to flee their homeland.

According to the United Nations, more than 7,000 people are traveling in the migrant caravan, attempting to make their way to the United States. Hundreds of them are children.

To gauge what migrant children are experiencing along this difficult journey, CGTN took the unusual step of interviewing a child—10 year-old Wiston Ochoa.

His father agreed to have his son talk to us. Wiston is from a poverty-stricken town in Honduras called Colón. He’s traveling alone with his father.

Wiston said he misses his mother. He said she stayed home in Honduras with his little sister, who’s been sick lately. He said he also misses sleeping in his own bed.

“Here it’s very uncomfortable. The floor is very hard to sleep on. I tried to sleep on it, but it did not feel like my home,” Wiston said. “In my own home, in my little bed I sleep well. But I left it and my family back in Honduras. I miss them.”

As the long, hot days drag on, many migrant children are doing their best to make a miserable situation tolerable. Some spend the day playing with anything they can find. Others brought books with them.

Child psychologists said this moment is crucial for these little ones. It helps them deal with the uncertainty they face on this dangerous road, which could affect them later on in their adult lives.

The Chiapas Office Director of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, Kristin Riis Halvorsen has been working with the Mexican federal government in the event of such a crisis.

Riis Halvorsen said, “Mexican law states that any child who is in Mexico has access to education this is another point that we’re working as UNHCR with the Secretary of Public Education, and we are establishing now routes so that children can have an easier access.”

Over the weekend, more than a thousand people had asked Mexico for asylum. On Monday, the caravan was still more than 1,600 kilometers from the U.S. border.