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Cyber and social networks alleviate the nostalgia of caravan migrants

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  • Sat, 10/27/2018 - 09:38
Migrantes en un cibercafé de la población de Mapastepec, Mexico
  • Migrantes en un cibercafé de la población de Mapastepec, Mexico
  • EFE

"I'm going to get to Texas," "I'm fine, but slaughtered," is heard in a cybercafé in the Mexican municipality of Mapastepec. These are Fun, emotional and comforting phrases of caravan migrants to their worried family members.

It's a holiday in the Cyber Pc Express, with a sign at the entrance that says "Welcome." The Central American migrants stand in line waiting for one of the fifteen computers in the premises.

A screen lights up. It is the ninth video call that today is made in this internet connection site of this town in the southeastern state of Chiapas.

In front of the old computer, a boy smiles cheerfully and greets the woman he has on screen. She is his mother.

"They ask me how I am doing and how I am doing it; they tell me to return because they hear bad news, but I tell them everything is fine," said Eduardo, a 24-year-old youth from Honduras, the country of origin of the most of the 7,000 people participating in this unprecedented exodus.

These are moments of rest when they still have 2,000 kilometers ahead. More than nostalgic, they are happy to bring good news. They are safe and sound after 13 days of travel.

I miss them "but I'm going up," affirms this young man who now sees a Champions League match and uses Facebook to talk with his friends and even post some message of encouragement on the wall.

At his side, Luis Fernando Paz wears a hat with the word "Texas" written in a big and clear way. He talks about everything a little, from his health condition to his relationship with his girl.

Without hanging up the video call with his aunts, he told Efe that the whole family together supports him on the journey and gives him money for food.

"They are very happy because I am going there (United States) and I am calm, happy, excited, to be with the family", said the young man, who contacts his family whenever he has the opportunity and is looking forward to his first migration journey.

He has a family in the United States and does not rule out hiring a "coyote" to cross the border, he laughs while his aunt, knowing that he does not have to get into trouble in front of the camera, scolds him from far away.

Sitting between two desks, José Pablo Montero, a 35-year-old Honduran, tries for the fifth time to cross over to the world's leading power and find a "good job" and help his parents.

On previous occasions, he was deported after being intercepted in northern Mexico.

The man travels without money and asks for coins to buy, among other inputs, telephone cards. "When I speak, it does not make me sad, but joy at hearing the voice, but they are really concerned," he told Efe.

On the other side of this establishment, illuminated almost exclusively by the monitors on, Jairo, 27, contacts his sister Arely on Facebook.

"I send you 1,500 lempiras (about $ 62), where?" The woman writes, who lives in Spain. He tells her that he still does not know how to receive a transfer but he appreciates this transoceanic support.

"I came hopeful because she can help me and get my children ahead," he told Efe. At the age of 27 he has four, and on this route full of dangers, such as illnesses or abuses, he goes with one of them.

Tania is 17 years old and is from Guatemala. She left the country with her mother and a friend from the town, and surfs Facebook as a fish in the water.

In her native country she left her younger sister, who is 15 years old and is being cared by a neighbor, while her father is imprisoned in El Salvador.

This Tuesday, when they rested a whole day in Huixtla (Chiapas), the youngest immortalized their role in this caravan with "selfies" on one of their bridges.

"I need social networks," said this girl who, like most, travels with the phone off to save battery and, therefore, she counts the moments when she can have network or take pictures.

The minutes and hours run. Migrants enter and leave the cyber. They focus on these conversations that eradicate a growing distance in seconds.

Social networks become a safeguard against loneliness.

By Martí Quintana / EFE

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