BREAKING NEWS Indiana Gaming Commission reopens application process for Terre Haute casino Full Story

Grandmother with caravan: We've suffered

A grandmother of four from Honduras speaks to CNN's Leyla Santiago after arriving in Mexico with the migrant caravan making its way north from Central America.

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 7:53 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 7:53 AM

They have traveled for days on foot and by bus. They are tired, hungry and desperate for a better life.

President Donald Trump described the roughly 1,100 Central American migrants traveling in a caravan through Mexico as dangerous. Many are women and children.

They've reached Puebla, a city southeast of Mexico City and more than 700 miles from Brownsville, Texas.

While many will stay south of the US border to find work, some 200 or so migrants plan to continue their journey into the United States.

Here are some of their stories:

'We are not bringing any guns'

Karen Gallo, 32, left Honduras with her two children and her husband. They've been on the road for 20 days, trying to make their way to the United States.

"There are no jobs, no justice, no laws in Honduras," Gallo said.

She and her relatives each carry a small backpack and a light jacket or sweater.

"We are not bringing any guns," she said. "As you can see, we are only carrying the basics."

'We've suffered'

On Friday afternoon, an influx of migrants arrived in Puebla by bus. Santos Isabel Hernandez, of Honduras, was among them.

Asked why she joined the caravan, Isabel Hernandez said, "To give my children a better future and because of the violence back home."

She was talking about her four grandchildren -- a 2-year-old asleep on her shoulder and three more sitting on the curb beneath the sun. They're making their way to the children's mother in San Francisco.

The journey, she said, had been difficult. "We've suffered on our way here," she said, her voice thick with emotion. "We've had to sleep outside. We haven't had food."

Asked about Trump and his allegations that the caravan is dangerous, Hernandez said: "I tell the President that we're leaving our country out of need and to escape the violence."

A mother who left her children behind

All Lilian Mejia has is a purple hoodie, a second pair of sneakers and an extra pair of clothes.

The 25-year-old couldn't get a job in El Salvador without a college degree and left her two sons, a 3-year-old and a 9-year-old, to look for work in the United States.

She is determined to get to Texas.

"I don't know how many days it would take us, but we are going to fight," she said. "We are going to fight, and we will get there."

As she traveled in the caravan, Mejia heard on the news that Trump was mad about the band of travelers.

"He's not poor, fighting for his family," she said. "This is what he doesn't understand."

'We are Americans'

Rafael Alvarez Martinez left Honduras alone to join the caravan.

Despite the challenges, the 65-year-old baker is traveling with newfound friends, though he's the only one he knows hoping to cross the border into the United States, where he wants to join his niece.

He condemned Trump's proposed border wall, which he compared to the Berlin Wall.

"Trump is discriminating against Americans," Alvarez Martinez told CNN on Thursday. "We are Americans: Hondurans, Nicaraguans, El Salvadorans, Mexicans, all of us."

Fleeing gang violence

Erasmo Aguirre worked as a bodyguard for a government official in El Salvador when the threats began.

"It's too violent in El Salvador," said the father of two boys, ages 5 and 9.

He had been in Chicago years ago but was deported to El Salvador. Now, he plans to stay in Tijuana, Mexico, where he says friends will help him find a job.

Escaping discrimination

Alessandra Lopez, Nikolle Contreras, Adriana Rodriguez and Michele Portio are transgender women who said they left Honduras for the US and Canada.

27-year-old Contreras told CNN she would face discrimination just going to buy shoes. The salesperson would tell her the shoes she was interested in were for women.

"Who do they think I am?" she asked.

"In Honduras, there's discrimination," Lopez, 26, added. "Being trans, we're discriminated in all ways." The pair are headed for Nashville, where a friend of theirs is living.

When she left, Lopez's mother understood, saying, "I'd rather you be across the world than next to me and in danger."

'My Bible goes with me'

There is deodorant, toilet paper and a pair of shoes inside Eric Sagastume's backpack. But the most valuable item he carries is his Bible.

"Wherever I'm going, my Bible goes with me," the 61-year-old from Guatemala said.

He walked for 11 days before taking a bus.

He was deported 13 years ago from the United States and doesn't want to risk that again. Instead, he says he is heading toward the popular beach town of Cabo San Lucas on Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

Sagastume says he loves speaking English and can use the skill to earn more money to support his family.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Eric Sagastume's country of origin.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 85°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Casey
Mostly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 80°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
Sunny and warmer to start!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

In Case You Missed It

${article.thumbnail.title}

Trace Adkins: The Way I Wanna Go Tour

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Avoid phony Amazon calls

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Social media influencer ruse

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Beware of knock-off car seats

Image

Police make arrests in deadly shooting case

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Fake change-of-address websites

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Fraudsters claim Apple iCloud breach to steal your info

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Schemes target military families

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Avoid Zoom phishing

Image

SCAM ALERT: Rental car shortage leads to phony deals

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1389892

Reported Deaths: 25606
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook55655610470
DuPage924461322
Will769851035
Lake683971019
Kane59475808
Winnebago34146508
Madison30990526
McHenry29197295
St. Clair28377519
Peoria23461343
Champaign21118155
Sangamon19112240
McLean18559188
Tazewell17234305
Rock Island15248329
Kankakee14574216
Kendall1329099
LaSalle12791250
Macon11000211
DeKalb10132121
Vermilion10039143
Adams8727127
Williamson7619134
Whiteside7199174
Boone683778
Ogle621983
Grundy598878
Clinton578991
Coles5774100
Knox5649155
Jackson510265
Henry508170
Livingston490291
Woodford484682
Stephenson482985
Macoupin478388
Effingham476972
Franklin454378
Marion4516117
Jefferson4425122
Monroe439094
Lee419354
Randolph416587
Fulton405459
Logan398864
Morgan393782
Christian383975
Montgomery379674
Bureau378484
Fayette322855
Perry320360
Iroquois314668
McDonough291651
Jersey271752
Douglas260836
Saline260657
Lawrence241027
Shelby232838
Union228341
Crawford214525
Bond208724
Cass203727
Ford189050
Warren184749
Clark184033
Jo Daviess182624
Pike182153
Wayne181253
Hancock180931
Carroll178537
Edgar177240
Richland176940
White170626
Washington164925
Moultrie163128
De Witt157229
Mason154245
Piatt152414
Clay149943
Mercer149534
Johnson148116
Greene145234
Massac136040
Wabash135712
Cumberland130319
Menard125012
Jasper116718
Marshall108119
Hamilton84216
Schuyler7827
Brown7326
Pulaski7007
Stark64824
Edwards57712
Calhoun5312
Henderson52914
Scott4901
Putnam4863
Alexander47411
Gallatin4704
Hardin39112
Pope3304
Unassigned502433
Out of IL360

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424