Caravan Of Hope: Migrants Risk Their Lives For A Chance At A New One

There's nothing safe about trying to get into America from Mexico as a migrant. 

The well-worn road along Mexico's Highway 2 is long and dangerous, but danger is something these people know well.

Carlos, 20, fled his home in Honduras because gangs were trying to force him to do things he didn't want to.

"My life was at risk in Honduras so I took the decision to come here," Carlos told The Project's Hamish Macdonald.

"They wanted me to sell drugs where I worked."

Young men between the ages of 14 and 30 are the most common migrants headed to the US from South America. Image: Hamish Macdonald.

Carlos and his friends are just some of thousands of people who have walked for over six weeks to reach the migrant camp in Tijuana, a city at the US-Mexico border.

"They all look out for lifts they might be able to get with trucks ... there are big mountain passes, they are walking through the desert so at any opportunity they will try and jump on anything they can," Macdonald told 10 daily.

Carlos and his mates did manage to get a ride with a Mexican national named Victor, who used to live in America. Victor showed the young men sympathy, gave them some advice about how to behave in America and above all, he told them to work hard and to avoid trouble.

Caravan Pandemonium Near The USA-Mexico Border

There’s definitely a spirit of care and looking after people who they think are probably in need," Macdonald said.

In fact, many Mexicans are kind to those travelling north from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. People will offer them food and water, and drivers will give them a ride between road check points.

For the migrants themselves, banding together is one way to ensure their safety as they travel. Some also believe the more migrants who accumulate on the border, the better their chance will be of passing into the US.

READ MORE: Trump Approves 'Lethal Force' As Busloads Of Migrants Approach Border

READ MORE: Caravan Of Hope: The Project Goes To Mexico To Meet The Migrant Convoy

There's currently between 4000 and 5000 people living in the migrant camp in Tijuana -- but in many ways, arriving at the camp is where the real danger begins.

There are nearly 5,000 people living in the Tijuana migrant camp. Image: Hamish Macdonald.

Despite many locals attempting to help migrants through Mexico to safety, that's not a universal sentiment. In Tijuana for example, there are groups who post live broadcasts to social media, where they vow to attack migrants if they find them.

The atmosphere in the camp is also fraught with danger.

The days have hot temperatures and pouring rain. The portable toilets leak in the deluges. Rumours fly around constantly, predicting Trump will open the gates to America in just a few days and their plight will come to an end.

Finally.

But that's not the only difficult climate they have to manage.

"I think most of them don’t have any clue of the political storm that they are walking into," Macdonald told 10 daily.

The migrants will walk for six-eight months to get to the US border. Image: Hamish Macdonald.

"The reality of walking along in the caravan with the migrants sits pretty starkly in contrast with Trump calling it an' invasion'."

"It doesn’t feel like an invasion. It feels like a big group of young people walking. So I suppose there’s that."

Watch Caravan Of Hope Part Two on The Project on Monday at 6.30pm on 10. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au