SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — Some 600 migrants hoping to reach the United States set off in a caravan Saturday from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula.
Hundreds of young men, women and children — most from Nicaragua, Honduras and Cuba — had gathered overnight and early morning at the city’s central bus station.
Shortly after dawn, they set out walking toward the Guatemalan border in hopes that travelling in a group would be safer or cheaper than hiring smugglers or trying on their own. A smaller second group soon joined.
Fabricio Ordoñez, a young Honduran laborer, said he joined the group in hopes of “giving a new life to my family.”
“The dream is to be in the United States to be able to do many things in Honduras,” he said, adding that he was pessimistic that left-leaning President-elect Xiomara Castro, who takes office Jan. 27, would be able to quickly solve the Central American nation’s economic and social problems after 12 years of conservative administrations plagued by scandal.
“They have looted everything,” he said. “It is going to be very hard for this government to improve things.”
Nicaraguan marcher Ubaldo López expressed hope that local officials would not try to hinder this group, as they have many in the past.
“We know this is a very hard road, and we ask God and the Honduran government to please accompany us to the border with Guatemala and not put more roadblocks,” he said.
He said he hoped that Guatemala and Mexico also would allow the group to pass and that the U.S. government “will open the doors to us” — despite repeated recent examples of regional governments, often under U.S. pressure, trying to halt such caravans.