Poverty, crime and violence are just some of the reasons why thousands of Guatemalans flee the country every month in hopes of achieving it across the southern borders of the United States. Climate change is also increasingly motivating people to leave, as extreme weather events cause catastrophic floods and other destruction.
More than 64,000 Guatemalans were arrested at the southern border this year, including thousands of unaccompanied minors, according to the US Customs and Border Protection. Manuel Boyorquez on CBS News I traveled to the village of Kanpur in Guatemala. To talk to people who have friends, relatives, acquaintances who have left for the United States, or who are planning their own trek to the north.
Hurricane Eta and Jota struck Kanpur in a row last fall. Leave the village underwater Over the past few weeks, he has expelled more than 300,000 Guatemalans. Floods destroyed homes, schools and crops. This is a particularly painful result for towns where most inhabitants work in agriculture. Beverly Alvarado Kahuek tells Boyorquez that all of her home has been destroyed by the floods, and she is concerned about her slow reconstruction efforts.
Alvarado Cahuec will be staying in Campur, but she knows that at least six people have left for the United States in the last few weeks. According to Alvarado Cahuec, they are aware that the border is closed, but they take the risk of knowing that the United States has the opportunity and Campur has nothing left.
One of the women who will be heading to the United States next week is Aurora Choc Coc, a three-person single mother. She told Boyorquez that the floods left her home burned down, and she wants to find a job in Houston. Her youngest is two years old, but her children need to stay in Campur to find a job. “I don’t know if I can come back and hug one day,” said Chock Kok in tears. The eldest son, who was listening to the conversation with Boyorquez, also began to cry.
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