While the approximately 4,000 members of the first migrant caravan, self-named Central American Exodus remains in Juchitan, Oaxaca in southern Mexico a now fourth exodus of asylum seekers left out of El Salvador.
At least 2,000 migrants left El Salvador on Wednesday, the second from the Central American country, fleeing poverty and violence and hoping to find residence and refuge in the United States despite U.S. President Donald Trump ordering 5,200 military members to the border with Mexico.
The fourth Exodus was organized over social media starting in mid-October and is following the same route of the 500 Salvadorans who left on Sunday and arrived Monday in Mexican.
Jose Machado, a 19-year-old bus ticket collector said "I can’t earn money, I earn between US$15 and US$20 a day but for rent and if (my daughters) get sick … it’s not enough. We decided to leave as God as our guide," Machado told Reuters.
Like the thousands before them, those in the El Salvador caravan walked in simple shoes carrying backpacks and their children on their shoulders. Passing motorists waved them on encouragement.
The first caravan spent Wednesday night in Juchitan where those in the coastal Mexico town still recuperating from last year’s devastating earthquake have welcomed migrants with open arms. Images from teleSUR correspondent in Mexico, Eduardo Martinez shows impromptu sleeping accommodations being set up in the small town’s cement soccer fields and community centers.
Caravaners held a collective assembly on Wednesday night where group decisions are made. Amelia Frank-Vitale, an expert in Central American migration who is walking with the Exodus told teleSUR that during the assemblies: “People get up and speak. There is a difficult but beautiful democratic process happening here. Decisions are made … by a show of hands or noise.” However, the group has yet to decide when and where the group will move on to.
Machado says he’s a little scared at the thought of the now over 7,000 military members stationed along the U.S. southern border anticipating the impoverished Exodus but says: “We see a lot of people, we can help each other."
Military members involved in the Pentagon’s ‘Operation Faithful Patriot’ are allowed to build temporary housing and provide medical and transportation assistance for U.S. personnel, but cannot conduct arrests or searches, according to the Posse Comitatus Act.
The second caravan is in Tapachula, Mexico at its southern border.