The migrant caravan has shrunk after 500 people voluntarily accepted bus trips back to their home countries.
Mexican authorities said many of those who decided to abandon the caravan and accept bus trips back home were ‘sick or exhausted’.
A number of them were mothers with young children. There had previously been reports from the ground of parents pushing strollers or carrying children on their backs.
The buses were provided by the Mexican National Migration Institute, a government agency that controls and supervises migration in the country.
Hundreds of others have since dropped out of the caravan or accepted asylum in Mexico, according to the New York Post.
The migrant caravan has shrank after 500 people accepted bus trips back to their home countries on Wednesday night
Honduran migrants were seen boarding a bus at the service of the Mexican National Migration Institute to voluntarily return to their home country
Mexican authorities said many of those who decided to abandon the caravan and accept trips home were ‘sick or exhausted’
Numbers have varied widely on just how many marchers are currently in the caravan.
The United Nations estimates that there are 7,200 people in the caravan, while the Mexican government claims there are only 4,500 since hundreds have turned back home.
Alex Mensing, who is providing humanitarian assistance to the group with Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said the caravan has about 7,000 people from Honduras.
The migrants registered with Mexican officials after crossing the border from Guatemala, Mensing told The Arizona Republic.
A number of those who decided to leave the caravan and take bus trips home were mothers with young children, according to Mexican authorities
Honduran migrants can be seen here waiting to board a bus, which was provided at the service of the Mexican National Migration Institute
He believes about 1,500 more migrants have since joined the group in the last few days.
On Wednesday morning, the main group left Huixtla before the sun rose after spending a day there recuperating and honoring a man who died on Monday after falling from the back of a truck.
They began marching 40 miles to the town of Mapastepec, where they will rest for the night.
The migrants who didn’t decide to go home reached the Mexican city of Mapastepec on Wednesday (pictured)
A Central American migrant tries to give medicine to a child in the Mapastepec city center on Wednesday afternoon
A young child traveling with the caravan rests between bags while waiting on a bridge that connects Mexico and Guatemala before crossing into Mexico
Central American migrants traveling with the caravan receive donated food outside a Catholic church in Mapastepec
People rest in a makeshift camp set up by a caravan of Central American migrants in Mapastepec on Wednesday
The caravan is still 1,100 miles from the US-Mexico border.
At this rate of around 40 miles a day, it will take the group another 25 days at least to get to the point on the Texan border which they are likely to attempt to cross.
The group has been gradually increasing their pace since crossing over into Mexico.
A girl collects small rocks for the base of a makeshift tent to sleep in, after a heavy rain in Mapastepec on Wednesday night
The United Nations estimates that there are 7,200 people in the caravan, while the Mexican government claims there are only 4,500 since hundreds have turned back home
Alex Mensing, who is providing humanitarian assistance to the group with Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said the caravan has about 7,000 people from Honduras
The migrants registered with Mexican officials after crossing the border from Guatemala. Pictured are people sleeping in a makeshift camp in Mapastepec on Wednesday
Migrants left Huixtla in southern Mexico on Wednesday morning to make their way towards the town of Mapastepec around 40 miles away
Migrants walk along the road from Huixtla to Mapastepec on Wednesday morning while some cram into trucks in the next leg of the journey
Despite the death of a man who fell from an overcrowded truck in Tapachula on Monday, many clambered on top of vehicles to try to speed up the journey and give their weary feet a rest on Wednesday morning
The line of thousands of migrants is more than a mile long and is slowly snaking along Mexico’s highways from town to town, working its way gradually north
The first caravan set off from San Salvador last week and crossed through Honduras and Guatemala with relative ease before arriving at Mexico’s border with Guatemala on Friday. After briefly clashing with police, they were let through and are now marching north towards the US. The second caravan is now in Chiqimula, Guatemala, and is being bused to the border to catch up with the others
On their first day of walking, they covered 19 miles. On Monday, they walked 25 miles to Huixtla.
They have almost double the ground to cover to get to Mapastepec.
As the migrants continued in their journey, President Trump continued complaining about it on Twitter.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that the US is a ‘great Sovereign Nation’ which will not allow people to enter illegally
‘For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess!
‘They only wish they had that decision to make over again.
‘We are a great Sovereign Nation. We have Strong Borders and will never accept people coming into our Country illegally!’ he tweeted on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, the president admitted he had ‘no proof’ for his claim that there were ‘people from the Middle East’ among the thousands of Central Americans in the group.
The Department of Homeland Security, however, confirmed it for him.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, spokesman Tyler Houlton said that not only were there Middle Easterns among the group, there were criminals from ‘Africa and South East Asia’ too.
Migrants hitch a ride on a truck to take them from Huixtla to Mapastepec on Wednesday, a journey of 40 miles
A father pushes two young children past others as they rest on the roadside on the way to Mapastepec on Wednesday
Migrants sit on top of a packed truck and some cling on to the sides as they make their way to Mapastepec, their next stop in Mexico
The migrants climbed into smaller vehicles on Wednesday to be taken part of the 40 mile journey from Huixtla
Others braved the journey on foot, setting off early, before the sun rose, to try to beat the temperatures
Among those in the caravan are small children who were packed on to pick up trucks
Before the sun rose on Wednesday, the group led the way with candles and lighters. They are battling stifling temperatures which have caused concern among Red Cross doctors and humanitarian groups
Some of the migrants held Mexican and Honduran flags on Wednesday morning as they set off in the dark to walk 40 miles
The group rose before sunrise on Wednesday to resume their journey after taking Tuesday off to rest in honor of a man who died falling from a truck he had hitched a ride on. Some are in wheelchairs, there are countless babies and the group also includes some elderly
There are still thousands of migrants waiting to cross the border bridge between Mexico and Guatemala, according to Mexican officials. Above, some are pictured resting and shielding themselves from the sun on Wednesday
‘DHS can confirm that there are individuals within the caravan who are gang members or have significant criminal histories.
‘Citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S,’ he said.
He went on: ‘Stopping the caravan is not just about national security or preventing crime, it is also about national sovereignty and the rule of law. Those who seek to come to America must do so the right and legal way.’
On the Guatemalan border with Honduras, which has seen abnormal levels of traffic in the past week, there was an increased police presence on Tuesday after President Trump threatened to cut aid to the region.
On the Honduran border with Guatemala, local troops put barbed wire around the border gate amid news thousands more migrants were planning to set off in new caravans
On Monday, a man died falling from a truck as he was driven from Tapachula, a border town, to Huixtla, 40 miles away. Police are warning residents there, who have rushed to help by giving the migrants water and supplies, not to let too many onto their vehicles because it is so dangerous
On Wednesday morning, police had covered the fence there with barbed wire in an attempt to stop any new migrants who might try to climb over it.
In 2017, Guatemala said it received more than $230million in aid from the US.
THIRD CARAVAN PLANNED IN EL SALVADOR
A group of around 250 people is planning to set off from El Salvador in what will become a third migrant caravan on October 31.
According to NBC, White House officials are monitoring the group which is discussing its plans over WhatsApp.
Though the group is significantly smaller than the others already on their way, US officials are particularly concerned that it may include members of MS-13, an El Salvadorian gang notorious for recruiting youngsters and applying unthinkable violence to its rule.
It remains unclear when those in Honduras who are yet to set off are planning to.
The true picture of the size of the crowds is difficult to determine because the groups are moving sporadically and chaotically all the time.
All are determined to flee Honduras or Guatemala in search of a better life in the US.
Some have already lived in America and have been deported but they believe this is their chance to get back in and resume their old lives.
Their hopeful plans have consistently infuriated President Trump who has repeatedly labeled their effort an ‘assault on the country’.
Not all of the migrants, however, appear to be planning on making America their home. The Mexican government has already received more than 1,500 asylum claims since the caravan set off.
The UN has warned that many of those making the journey are at risk of being kidnapped or trafficked as they gradually walk through Mexico.
Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said Tuesday in Geneva the agency is concerned about ‘the developing humanitarian situation and the known kidnapping and security risks in areas the caravan may venture into.’
The largest group has spent the last two nights in Huixtla (above), sleeping in its town squares and in the streets. They have were given handouts and were seen by volunteer doctors
The main group, which has around 7,000 people in it, spent Tuesday resting in Huixtla (above) out of respect for the man who died getting from Tapachula to Huixtla on the back of a truck
‘In any situation like this it is essential that people have the chance to request asylum and have their international protection needs properly assessed, before any decision on return (or) deportation is made,’ he added.
President Trump is however confident that the migrants pose the biggest threat.
In a flurry of comments outside the White House on Monday afternoon, he said: ‘I have reports that they’ve got a lot of everybody in that group. It’s a horrible thing.’
He insisted during one exchange that a mid-morning tweet about ‘[c]riminals and unknown Middle Easterners’ would be proven true – that they’re really there – if reporters would only look in the right places.
‘You know what you should do?’ Trump asked. ‘Go into the middle of the caravan. Take your cameras and search, okay?’
‘Go into the middle and search,’ the president said. ‘You’re going to find MS-13. You’re going to find Middle Eastern[ers].
‘You’re going to find everything. And guess what? We’re not allowing them in our country. We want safety. We want safety.’