The government of Mexico says refugee applications have continued to rise from Honduran migrants who were part of a caravan heading through the country.
The Interior and Foreign Relations Departments report in a statement that immigration authorities have now received 1,699 applications. Those people are no longer with the caravan and are being sheltered in the city of Tapachula, in the southernmost state of Chiapas.
The other migrants have pushed on as a group to the town of Huixtla but are still at least 1,000 miles from their goal, the United States. The statement estimated their numbers at about 4,500; the United Nations has said they were some 7,000.
The government also says that 495 Hondurans have voluntarily decided to return to their home country with assistance from Mexico.
In addition, a mobile medical clinic truck has pulled into the main square of the southern Mexican town of Huixtla to treat Central American migrants in a caravan trying to reach the United States.
Portable toilets have been set up in one corner of the plaza. The caravan is so large — estimated at over 7,000 — that a few hundred of the migrants camped out on a basketball court outside of town. There are no bathrooms there, and little-donated food.
The caravan is resting today out of respect for a Honduran migrant who fell from a vehicle yesterday and died.
It’s also a chance to rest weary and blistered feet after days of marching.
Huixtla municipal worker Daniel Lopez says the town is offering some food and water as well as basic painkillers and rehydration liquids.
But he says some children are running high temperatures.
Migrants are also taking it upon themselves to pick up after themselves.
Selvin Antonio Guzman from Santa Barbara, Honduras, was using two pieces of cardboard Tuesday morning to scoop trash from a garden bed where many had spent the night.
He said: “it’s important to keep it clean here.”
The group is still over 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. border crossing.