Beyond the border
‘They treated us like we were animals’: Honduran mother’s nightmare journey trying to find a better life in the US
Ruth Gomez joined a caravan heading north. Things didn’t go as she had planned. Andrew Buncombe reports
She was resting on a hill overlooking the town, readying herself for the hardship that lay ahead, yet weighted with pain over what she had left behind. Ruth Gomez had an open face and bright, vivid eyes, but she wept as she explained how she had made the decision to leave her two young children with her mother in Honduras, and join a caravan of migrants trailing its way towards the US border.
“There are no opportunities for us in Honduras,” she said, holding up a phone to display an image of a boy and a girl – Dorian and Alejandra. “I do not think it will be easy to cross the US border, but also not impossible.”
The young woman sleeping in a park, where someone had placed a white banner that bore the words “May peace and God be with us”, was among tens of thousands of desperate, ambitious Hondurans who joined the caravan in the autumn of 2018, first passing through Guatemala and into southern Mexico. Donald Trump denounced the migrants, claiming without evidence that dangerous people from the Middle East were among them, and he would dispatch troops to shore up the US-Mexico border after declaring a national emergency. He later termed them “an invasion”.