Guatemala (MNN) — Guatemalan troops halted a large caravan with thousands of migrants as they moved through the country last week. The majority have been sent back into Honduras, while others have fanned out across Guatemala.
The United States, Mexico, and Guatemala have agreed to halt the progress of migrants through their countries, driven by COVID-19 concerns. This latest caravan, nearly 8,000 strong, likely organized in hope that new U.S. President Joe Biden’s immigration policies would allow them to enter the country.
Fleeing poverty and chaos
Brian Dennett of AMG International explains why so many Central Americans are anxious to head North. “Central America is really so close to the United States, just Mexico separating it from countries like Guatemala and Honduras. They have this pretty universal dream that coming to America is going to solve the desperate problems that they’re experiencing in their own countries: the violence, the hunger. And this has just been further compounded by COVID-19.” Dennett says two hurricanes last year made these crises worse as well.
In November, Tropical Storm Eta left a path of destruction across Guatemala. Hundreds died, many buried by mudslides. Hurricane Iota followed, which flooded many of the same areas and caused dozens of more fatalities. 2020 proved to be the most active hurricane season in the Atlantic in recorded history.
These back to back disasters crippled infrastructure and heavily damaged crops as well. This led to a catastrophic food security crisis, as Dennett says about 23% of Guatemalans, 3.7 million people, lack food security.
AMG has worked in Central America for 45 years, working to spread the love and hope of Jesus throughout the region. Dennett says, “Our prayer is that families stay together, that families can live in the communities that they know and love. I know that’s the heart of people in Central America. And we want to continue to be able to love them, to share hope with them, to share the hope of the Gospel with them.”
You can get behind AMG’s mission to spread the Gospel and develop communities in Central America and around the world. Learn more here.
Central American Migrants charging their phones in 2018. (ProtoplasmaKid, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)