Hondurans who left on foot Friday in the latest migrant caravan hoping to find a welcome, and a better life, in the United States under new President Joe Biden, have been warned that they are unlikely to get far.
Three thousand are seeking to escape poverty, unemployment, gang and drug violence and the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes, the migrants plan to walk thousands of miles through Central America.
But they will have to overcome a rash of travel restrictions in Guatemala and Mexico long before they even make it to the American border.
The quest is likely to end in heartbreak for many, with American authorities already warning off the group that includes people of all ages and some entire families.
Most of the group set off from the transport terminal of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second-largest city, headed for Agua Caliente on the Guatemalan border 162 miles away.
Most migrants walked with facemasks to protect against the coronavirus. The migrants hope to catch lifts from passing motorists or truckers or, failing that, walk the entire way.
To enter Guatemala, the first country on their route, however, the migrants must show travel documents and a negative coronavirus test — requirements that not all of them meet.
“We are leaving with a broken heart, because in my case, I leave my family, my husband and my three children behind,” 36-year-old Jessenia Ramirez told AFP.