‘Endless journey’

Single mom in migrant caravan discusses why she left her 2 children at home

Single mother Ruth Gomez and her daughter, Alajandra. (Twitter / Andrew Buncombe)

They are leaving behind parents, spouses, and children — and for what? For the chance to work — and because they believe they can provide a better life for them in the U.S.

More than 10,000 people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are fleeing the violence and poverty of their home countries and traveling more than 2,000 miles to find paying work and a better future. Ruth Gomez is one such refugee. As a single mother, she was unable to earn enough money in Tegucigalpa to provide for her 4-year-old son, Dorian, and 7-year-old daughter, Alejandra, and left them with her mother, she told Andrew Buncombe of The Independent. “I feel I am not brave because I left the children behind,” she said. “Our education system is not good. And if the children need to go to a doctor, I cannot take them.” Gomez added, “There are no opportunities for us in Honduras.”

El Salvador and Honduras frequently top the list of nations not in a war zone with the highest per capita murder rate. The United Nations refugee agency has helped coordinate relief efforts; some in the caravan are expected to seek asylum.

Gomez is one of many in pursuit of a new life. They get up before dawn to walk before the sun rises and the humidity becomes too oppressive. They walk for 12 hours at a time. Still, moments of kindness abound. People in a poor region of Mexico provided some with food and water, and allowed them to bathe. “I do not think it will be easy to cross [the U.S. border], but also not impossible,” said Gomez. Meanwhile, President Trump has threatened to close the U.S. border, and recently tweeted that there are “many gang members and some very bad people” mixed into the caravan, adding, “our military is waiting for you.”

Read the full story and watch a video interview with Gomez at The Independent.

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