Migrant Caravan Map: Asylum Seekers Move North Through Mexico Toward U.S. in 'Mass Exodus'

Thousands of Central American migrants traveling to seek asylum in the U.S. have continued to push north through Mexico this week, as the Trump administration warned of a "crisis" at the border.

On Wednesday, members of the caravan began to pass through Escuintla in Mexico's southern Chiapas State, heading toward Mapastepec—roughly 20 miles away—with some traveling by foot, while others crammed into already overcrowded cars and trucks to continue the difficult journey toward the U.S. 

Since arriving at the Mexico border over the weekend, the caravan has already made significant progress after migrants traveled more than 45 miles.

map Taking the most direct route from Escuintla in Chiapas State, Mexico, Central American migrants traveling with a caravan making its way to the U.S. border, would still have more than 1,000 miles to travel before reaching the nearest point of U.S. entry in McAllen, Texas. Google Maps/SIO/NOAA/U.S. Navy/NGA/GEBCO/Landsat/Copernicus/Data LDEO-Columbia/NSF/INEGI

Still, the caravan, which includes as many as 7,000 people predominantly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, still has a long way to go, with around 1,000 miles left before it can reach the closest U.S. border crossing in McAllen, Texas. 

It is unclear how long it will take the asylum seekers to reach the U.S. border, but the journey could take weeks. 

Organizers have also said that they have yet to decide which specific route to take to the U.S. border, which could mean they are considering making the journey to the Tijuana-San Diego border crossing, where another caravan of Central American migrants arrived last April. 

If they do choose to follow in the steps of their April predecessors, the length of their journey could more than double, with that crossing being more than 2,350 miles away from Escuintla.

While the caravan that arrived in the U.S. last spring was organized by Mexican non-profit organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders), the current group does not have any one specific organizer, with several organizations providing support. 

“There’s not ‘an organizer,'" Alex Mensing, a projects coordinator with Pueblo Sin Fronteras explained to The Guardian. “With the Syrian refugees, nobody looks for ‘an organizer.’ This is a mass exodus." 

GettyImages-1052929846 Honduran migrants heading in a caravan to the U.S. climb onto a truck in Huixtla on their way to Mapastepec Chiapas state, Mexico, on October 24, 2018. As many as 7,000 migrants from Central American countries are walking and driving through Mexico towards the U.S. border, where many hope to seek asylum. JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty

The Trump administration has repeatedly hit out at the caravan, in a seemingly futile bid to discourage asylum seekers from coming to the U.S.

Despite the government's attempts to deter the thousands of people making their way to the border, a second caravan from Honduras has also been reported to be launching a journey to the U.S. 

On Tuesday, Casa del Migrante, a shelter for migrants in Guatemala City, told The Guardian that more than 1,000 people had joined that second group, which is reportedly making its way through Guatemala and toward the Mexican border.

Over the past year, the U.S. has seen an influx of asylum seekers from Central American countries arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, with many seeking to escape violence and economic and political instability in their home countries. 

GettyImages-1052930156 Honduran migrants heading in a caravan to the U.S., walk in Escuintla on their way to Mapastepec Chiapas state, Mexico, on October 24, 2018. JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty

Despite instability in the three countries, known collectively as the "Northern Triangle," President Donald Trump has vowed to cut, or, at least, significantly reduce, U.S. aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. He has accused their governments of failing to do enough to prevent their citizens from making the journey to the U.S. 

Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the U.N. refugee agency, the UNHCR, has issued a reminder to countries along the caravan's route, presumably including the U.S., that the group is "likely to include people in real danger." 

"In any situation like this it is essential that people have the chance to request asylum and have their international protection needs properly assessed before any decision on return/deportation is made," Edwards said. 

The UNHCR spokesperson said the agency has mobilized staff and resources in southern Mexico to help ensure timely registration of those looking to seek asylum in the country, in addition to helping address immediate needs, including shelter, for caravan members. 

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