Another migrant caravan left Honduras this week with hundreds of people now making their way across Guatemala, hoping to reach the United States.
CGTN’s Franc Contreras traveled to a rural community in Honduras to meet a few of the migrants who were deported or returned home on their own.
Azacualpa, Honduras is a sparsely populated hamlet in the state of Copan, just south of the border with Guatemala. Decent paying jobs are nearly impossible to get.
Last year, thousands of people left Honduran towns and cities and joined migrant caravans heading to the United States. But many of them could not make the difficult journey and returned to Honduras. Now, they scrape together meager living harvesting coffee beans in the mountains.
Thirty-two-year-old Cesar Acosta says the Honduran government promised to give him and others $400 in financial assistance. But the money never came.
“We have not seen any of that money up to now,” Cesar Acosta, a Honduran migrant worker said. “And a few of the people traveling with us left again. Some are now among the current caravan that left this week. Others are getting ready to go. There are about 40 of us who are possibly leaving this Sunday.”
The community suffered another economic blow recently when a gold mine operated by foreign companies shut down. When the mine closed two months ago, it ended a key source of income for many families, leaving them unemployed in this part of Honduras.
Maria Hernandez also participated in last October’s migrant caravan. This mother of three says she’s also planning to leave in a few days in another attempt to reach the United States.
“Now I harvest 10 gallons of coffee beans each day, but after this harvest will end soon and there will be no more work. The reason we want to go to the United States is to help our families escape poverty here which the government causes. It affects all of us.”
A 2016 census found that more than 60 percent of all Hondurans live in poverty. And for now, the migrant caravans are one of the few options they have to change that.