2019 Photo Contest, World Press Photo Story of the Year Nominee, Stories

The Migrant Caravan

Photographer

Pieter Ten Hoopen

Agence Vu/Civilian Act

29 October, 2018

Families bathe, wash clothes and relax beside the Rio Novillero, when a migrant caravan takes a rest day near Tapanatepec, Mexico.

During October and November, thousands of Central American migrants joined a caravan heading to the United States border. The caravan, assembled through a grassroots social media campaign, left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 12 October, and as word spread drew people from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. They were a mix of those facing political repression and violence, and those fleeing harsh economic conditions in the hope of a better life. Traveling in a caravan offered a degree of safety on a route where migrants have previously disappeared or been kidnapped, and was an alternative to paying high rates to people smugglers. Migrant caravans travel to the US border at different times each year, but this was the largest in recent memory with as many as 7,000 travelers, including at least 2,300 children, according to UN agencies. Conditions along the way were grueling, with people walking around 30 km a day, often in temperatures above 30°C. The caravan usually set off at around 4am each day to avoid the heat. Like others, the caravan drew condemnation from US president Donald Trump, who made it a focal point of rallies and used it to reiterate his call for tough immigration policies and the building of a border wall.

About

Pieter Ten Hoopen

Pieter Ten Hoopen is a member of Agency VU in Paris, as well as the founder of the company Civilian Act in Stockholm Sweden. Pieter has worked with aftermaths of war and human...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/4000
Focal length
28 mm
F-Stop
f/1.4
ISO
250
Camera
NIKON D850

This image is collected in