TAPACHULA, Mexico—After walking around 20 miles under the burning sun, Irineo Mujica and Luis Villagran, the two main organizers, gathered the full caravan around them to deliver the news. Mexican immigration authorities were offering a way to let them walk freely around the country: they will give out official immigration cards—but only to women and children.
Marissa Flores and her husband Emanuel looked at each other in doubt and with fear; they had walked over 300 miles from El Salvador to where they were standing. Both, along with their two kids, a 3-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl, left home three months ago after Emanuel was threatened by “La 18” members, one of the most violent gangs in El Salvador.
“We decided that we couldn’t be apart, we shouldn’t, and that’s why we came together, as a family,” Marissa told The Daily Beast.