They crossed the promontory of the Mexican capital this week: after more than 1,700 kilometers from Honduras and despite the difficulties, the migrants of the caravan remain focused on their goal: a better life.
Its 6,000-seat stands are usually filled with American football fans. This time, however, the Palillo stadium, east of Mexico City, has become a giant dormitory, including the lawn. For a week, thousands of Central American migrants arrive here, drop by drop, exhausted by weeks of walking on Mexican bitumen. The "caravan" that travels from Honduras has stopped in Mexico City, with particular attention to the United States.
Blankets, hot and health meals
Here, a pile of clothes; there, an improvised hairdresser; there, a distribution of women's hygiene products … Associations based in the Mexican capital have had time to anticipate, and migrants have found tents, blankets, hot meals and health on their arrival to regain their strength face the rest of their journey.
For those who, three weeks ago, have crossed the southern border of Mexico, more than 1,000 kilometers away, Mexico is a promontory. "Let's see our goal approach"smiles Wilfredo Galea, in his sixties, lying under a white curtain. At his side, his son Wilmel, 22, and Jonathan, a two-year-old boy with brown curls, his nephew. The last days have been difficult. Jonathan has taken the influence that afflicts migrants, refusing to eat. "A little bit more and we were coming back to Honduras"says Wilmel. The family left Honduras because of poverty: none of the parents found work.
The Hondurans abandon misery and insecurity
Belinda Reyes Castro looks for the pile of clean trouser clothes. He left with his 17-year-old daughter. Her eyes go off when she explains that she had to leave the three cadets behind her. "We did not have enough money to come all"she explains. As in a third of the houses in Honduras, Belinda raises her children alone. To leave was to create the possibility of a better life, far from the endemic violence in his country. "One day, I sent my daughter to buy a bag of spaghetti at the supermarket." She found herself with a gun to her temple while a band pointed to the shop.she said.
Suggestions before arriving at the border with the United States
Outside the stadium, between the hairdresser and the volunteers of the churches of Mexico City, a stand offers advice to prepare for the arrival on the border with the United States. "I have only one child, and I heard that at the border, they take the children and send their parents back …"asks Iris, a Honduran woman of twenty years. "We advise you to present yourself peacefully on the border, because the American president has declared that he will not hesitate to use force", trumpets in a megaphone Anna Joseph, an American woman in Mexico for the NGO Imumi, specialized in immigration.
After stopping to cross the southern border of Mexico, the caravan is fragmented. The migrants were 7,000 at the height of the trip; the stadium hosts less than 5,000 people, some move away from the trailer at their peril: the authorities continue to send isolated migrants home; and organized crime hovers. The louder jump on trucks and run to the north when families drag their legs …
Others have concluded their journey: from the beginning of October, the Mexican authorities registered over 3,200 asylum applications. An effect of the plan "Estás en tu Casa" (You are at home) outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto, who offers jobs, education and health to those who are confined to southern Mexico.
Those who choose to leave are equipped: taken from the cold that falls in the evening in Mexico (2,200 meters), they know that more to the north the temperatures are even more rigid. At the entrance to the stadium, gloves and hats are attacked. "I understand them, I was in the same situation, entrusts the muscular Mexican who distributes them. A long time ago, I went to the United States. During my trip, others have contacted me. "
United States: Donald Trump wants to end the law of the country by decree
Alix Hardy, from our correspondent in Mexico