TEGUCIGALPA – Several hundred Hondurans set off on Tuesday for the Guatemalan border, seeking to reach the United States to escape the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters, according to local media and a Reuters witness.
The group was the second large caravan to set out from Honduras this year, on the heels of catastrophic flooding in November from hurricanes Eta and Iota, which battered an economy that was already seriously struggling.
Central Americans have made up the bulk of a sharp increase in migrants trying to reach the United States via Mexico in recent weeks, putting pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden. The crisis includes the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
The migrants, mostly young adults with backpacks and women carrying children, had begun walking in the early morning from a bus terminal in the northern city of San Pedro Sula to the town of Corinto at the Guatemalan border, (71 miles) away.
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By early afternoon, part of the migrant caravan had covered about 12 miles to the Honduran city of Choloma, where some hitched rides on trucks and buses and crammed into the back of pickups, Reuters images show. Others continued on foot.
“You have to take risks to have a better life in the United States. In Honduras we’re never going to do anything,” migrant Carlos Flores told a local television station. “Here you can hardly eat with what you earn, if you can even find work.”