A group estimated at 1,600 to 2,000 people hoping to arrive in the US marched from Honduras into Guatemala Monday, fleeing violence and poverty in their home country.
Up to 3,000 migrants crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on Monday on a trek northward, after a standoff with Guatemalan police in riot gear and warnings from Washington that migrants should not try to enter the United States illegally. Thousands of migrants have left the impoverished region in recent years.
Last week, Vice President Pence met with leaders from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.
In April, a similar group of impoverished travelers failed to sway Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" stance on migration, which lead to the separation of migrants from Latin America illegally crossing the United States border.
The exhausted migrants entered Esquipulas late Monday and sought out food and places to sleep, hobbling on blistered feet.
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Hundreds of Hondurans have headed toward the American border fleeing poverty and violence, Reuters reported on Sunday, days after Washington pushed Latin American presidents for tighter borders. Along the way, locals often help them with food and water.
The migrants arrived at the Guatemalan border singing the Honduran national anthem, praying and chanting, "Yes, we can". Instead, Guatemala's government said in its own statement that it's now trying to identify and provide humanitarian assistance for the caravan.
"Migration is a human right", Hernandez said.
Keilin Umana, a 21-year-old who is two months pregnant, said she was moved to migrate to save herself and her unborn child after she was threatened with death. She said she could not find work and feared for their safety.
US President's Donald Trump administration continues to demand tougher immigration policies and border security enforcement.
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"Every day I earn about $5", Cortez said.
The caravan organizer, Bartolo Fuentes, is a former member of the Honduran Congress and was detained by police officers in Guatemala.
A huge migrant group more than doubled in size as it crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on October 15, leading American officials to issue warnings that the migrants shouldn't attempt to enter the United States illegally.
The message, driven home by Vice President Mike Pence who said he spoke to Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, could further encourage the Central American country to move closer to China because of what it sees as weak US support.
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