A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster On 13 October 2018, the migrant caravan began its journey in San Pedro Sula, Honduras with approximately 1,500 people (increasing to an average of 8,500 people within a few days of its initial departure). The caravan, which includes men, women, elderly persons, children and babies, entered through the Agua Caliente customs office in the department of Chiquimula, Guatemala and other access points such as El Amatillo and El Florido.
The caravan’s migratory route through Guatemala began in the municipality of Esquipulas in the department of Chiquimula before heading to Guatemala City and then to the city of Tecún Umán (via the CA9 Road) in the municipality of Ayutla, department of San Marcos, which borders Tapachula, Mexico in the state of Chiapas.
According to surveys carried out by various humanitarian organizations from Monday, 15 October to 17 October 2018 and data from the official collective centres, about 8,500 people passed through the department of Chiquimula.
Once the migrants reached the municipality of Esquipulas, Guatemala, they were transported by bus or private vehicle. Since the onset of the emergency, civil society actors, religious organizations, the GRC, volunteer firefighters, the Guatemalan government and United Nations agencies have been providing temporary shelters, basic first aid, potable water, transfers to hospitals and restoring family links (RFL) services.
This massive mobilization of people, both those who are on the southern border of Mexico and those who are still trying to enter Guatemala through various borders, reveals a crisis that could extend for several days; a protracted crisis situation would increase the migrants’ needs and likely exceed the Guatemalan Red Cross’s material and economic resources and thus its ability to provide dignified care and alleviate the suffering of the migrants