(CNN Spanish) – The city of Danli, in eastern Honduras and on the border with Nicaragua, has become a hub for foreign migrants arriving in Honduras every day on their way to the United States.
According to the delegate of the National Commissioner for Human Rights of Honduras (CONADE) in Danli, William Rolando Alvarado, to CNN, an average of 2,500 immigrants from different countries enter this city every day and this has crowded some public squares.
According to the official, “Danley is facing serious problems due to the collapse of the transit immigrant population.”
The human rights defender added that it has become normal to see how crowded public squares or small parks with tents or huts made of plastic by immigrants.
Gabriela Camacho, who is traveling from Venezuela, says she had to spend the entire trip outdoors with her three daughters, a sister and a nephew accompanying her due to a lack of finances.
“The core of my family, my sister, nephew and daughters always sleep on the street,” said the 25-year-old woman.
He added that in order to travel, they have to live on people’s alms and some money sent to them by relatives in the United States.
According to figures released by the National Institute of Migration of Honduras, from January 2 to August 9 this year, about 203,000 foreign immigrants entered Honduras, including 34,134 minors.
Elisa Rios, of Médecins Sans Frontières in Danly who looks after migrants, confirms that they have been seeing an influx more than two months ago, particularly in the family nucleus.
He added that medical and psychological care for this population has increased by nearly 500%. He asserts that, from 60 per day, it has risen to about 350 and “the demand for attention among children, this shows us that more family nuclei are entering the area”.
On the streets of Danly Town, immigrants are seen trying to make money selling sweets with their children, which allows them to get resources to continue on their way.
Joel Suarez, who is traveling from Venezuela, told CNN that he arrived in Honduras 15 days ago without money and added: “What you have to do is buy a small box of popsicles to gradually collect the small tickets and move forward little by little.”
Yarzores Hernandez, a Venezuelan national traveling with her two children and her husband, commented that throughout the journey they had to sell sweets on the street and would continue to do so until they reached their final destination.
He also said, “We’ve already passed seven countries, and we miss three countries and two and a half because it was Guatemala and Mexico and from there, well, the United States.”
All of these migrants had to cross the Darien Forest to reach Honduras, and a United Nations press report released on August 2 revealed that more than 250,000 migrants and refugees crossed that forest from January to July this year.
For immigrants, going through this journey is one of their worst nightmares. Crossing this place is not natural, says Yoimer Madrid, for example, but they must take risks despite the dangers on the way.
“In that forest they died, not all of them came out alive, and others had a fracture or a broken foot,” he said.
Isamar Hernandez, also a Venezuelan national, has recommended against crossing that jungle to those considering doing so. “I advise everyone from the bottom of my heart to never take revenge on that forest ever, not out of envy, I’ve never seen anything, I’ve seen about seven killed, and that’s the worst thing that can happen.”
The chief of border patrol for the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, Gloria Chavez, confirmed to reporters in Honduras at a virtual conference that the largest number of people arrested by that southern border so far this year are Hondurans, followed by citizens of Venezuela. Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
“We’ve already arrested more than 250,000 people in the Rio Grande Valley there in south Texas,” the US official said.
Chavez added that the Border Patrol has also managed to find and rescue 44,000 minors so far this year, including, he said, children in arms who were carried away by their older brothers.
The official called on people who are considering making the undocumented journey to the United States not to do so and that from their countries they can access government-authorized web pages and set a date to allow them to begin the immigration process. Thus avoiding putting their lives in danger.
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