When I heard about the migrant caravan, I felt the impulse of going and capture the real human stories within the exodus. There were many versions of them on television and social media. All of them sounded biased and kind of superficial.
So I started looking up what was going on and tried to find what was the current state of things. There was a challenge, find out the location and possible routes that they could take since the last reported town those 7,000 people stayed at. Tapachula, Chiapas was the last reported point. I started trying to find some resources and learned that a community radio station was receiving donations for them. That would be a good meeting point. So, I grabbed my gear with me and took a bus to Juchitán, Oaxaca, to visit the Radio Comunitaria Totopo.
When I contacted them, they were willing to have me over, people from the Istmo are solidary. Especially if you are also willing to help other people. They were planning already how to support the migrant caravan.
Juchitán and Arriaga
They received me kindly. I brought with me some donations that some of my friends and people gave me to deliver there. Next thing I knew, it was that they were somewhere close to Tonalá -still in Chiapas- so I decided to take a bus to Arriaga, to find the migrant caravan there, according to my calculations.
I made it there and found them. I’m not a professional journalist by any means. However, I wanted to give an alternative perspective and share the human stories from within the caravan. As I suspected, they were very different. I made some friends quickly and started asking them about their experience and the reasons why they were leaving everything behind. The answers were what I was expecting, a lot of pain and desperation.
Families and people on their own, women, teenagers, even pregnant women. In the mini-documentary, you can listen to some of their stories.
The Migrant Caravan as a Product of the Media
Unfortunately, at this point, the exodus is almost forgotten. The media attention when I filmed this was on fire because of the U.S. government using them as a scapegoat to gain popularity for the elections that were happening during those months in 2018.
Mexican society also showed some of the racism that we have as a country. The same catalyst that made me go there, to give people from the caravan a voice. This is one of the main objectives of Nomad Cook, and what I strive for. Please watch the migrant caravan documentary and spread the word.
I recently met a friend with a travel blog that was there the same days than I was. She wrote a post with more stories and a similar vision of this video. Her blog is in Spanish, if you can’t understand, there’s a translate button. Check it out.