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Teens struggle alone in Mexico after the caravan

Updated : 2019-03-03 16:43:22

Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala rubs her slightly protruding belly and giggles at her unborn son's constant kicks. The 15-year-old Salvadoran girl is staying at a shelter in Tijuana with her 13-year-old sister, Xiomara — part of an untold number of Central American youths who travelled with a migrant caravan that crossed Mexico and landed in this crime-ridden city in November.

The girls joined the caravan so they could meet their father, who had left them in Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula in August while he tried to get to the United States. But when they arrived in Tijuana, they heard from family back home in El Salvador that their father had crossed the border and ended up deported. They now are unsure of where to go.

Pregnant 15-year-old El Salvador migrant Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, from El Salvador, is comforted by a local church member as she cries during a Christian religious service at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Milagro and her sister Xiomara travelled with about two dozen other young people as a kind of subgroup of the caravan, which grew to more than 5,000 people. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
Pregnant 15-year-old El Salvador migrant Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, from El Salvador, is comforted by a local church member as she cries during a Christian religious service at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Milagro and her sister Xiomara travelled with about two dozen other young people as a kind of subgroup of the caravan, which grew to more than 5,000 people. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
17-year-old Honduran migrant Josue Mejia Lucero, his girlfriend Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, 15, and Josue's 3-year-old nephew Jefferson, look at cell phones as they lie in bed at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Milagro and her sister Xiomara came in search of their father, who left them in Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula while he tried to get to the United States. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
17-year-old Honduran migrant Josue Mejia Lucero, his girlfriend Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, 15, and Josue's 3-year-old nephew Jefferson, look at cell phones as they lie in bed at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Milagro and her sister Xiomara came in search of their father, who left them in Mexico's southern border city of Tapachula while he tried to get to the United States. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
17-year-old Honduran migrant Josue Mejia Lucero, left, smokes along with his girlfriend's sister Xiomara Henriquez Ayala, 13, outside the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Xiomara and her sister Milagro are part of an untold number of Central American youths who travelled with a migrant caravan that crossed Mexico and landed in this crime-riddled city in November. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
17-year-old Honduran migrant Josue Mejia Lucero, left, smokes along with his girlfriend's sister Xiomara Henriquez Ayala, 13, outside the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Xiomara and her sister Milagro are part of an untold number of Central American youths who travelled with a migrant caravan that crossed Mexico and landed in this crime-riddled city in November. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
El Salvador migrant sisters 15-year-old Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, left, and Xiomara, 13, pose for a portrait at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. The girls say they are too afraid to cross the border illegally after seeing the towering wall topped with concertina wire, especially since Milagro is nearly six months pregnant. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
El Salvador migrant sisters 15-year-old Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, left, and Xiomara, 13, pose for a portrait at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. The girls say they are too afraid to cross the border illegally after seeing the towering wall topped with concertina wire, especially since Milagro is nearly six months pregnant. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
El Salvador migrant Xiomara Henriquez Ayala, 13, sits atop the bunk bed she shares with 18-year-old Valeria Ramos of Honduras, at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Xiomara and her sister Milagro moved from shelter to shelter, fearing they could end up deported too by Mexican authorities. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
El Salvador migrant Xiomara Henriquez Ayala, 13, sits atop the bunk bed she shares with 18-year-old Valeria Ramos of Honduras, at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Xiomara and her sister Milagro moved from shelter to shelter, fearing they could end up deported too by Mexican authorities. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
Central American migrants 17-year-old Josue Mejia Lucero, left, 15-year-old Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, who is pregnant, centre, and her younger sister Xiomara, 13, organize baby clothes they selected from donated items, in their room at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Agape World Mission Pastor Albert Rivera said he is working with the Salvadoran consulate to get the girls' birth certificates and get their mother a Mexican visa to bring her to Tijuana. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
Central American migrants 17-year-old Josue Mejia Lucero, left, 15-year-old Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala, who is pregnant, centre, and her younger sister Xiomara, 13, organize baby clothes they selected from donated items, in their room at the Agape World Mission shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Agape World Mission Pastor Albert Rivera said he is working with the Salvadoran consulate to get the girls' birth certificates and get their mother a Mexican visa to bring her to Tijuana. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
El Salvador migrant Xiomara Henriquez Ayala, 13, peers over the US border fence from Tijuana, Mexico, as Honduran migrant Josue Mejia Lucero, 17, and his sister Lucero, 25, looks on while looking for a way to help Lucero and her son cross undetected. Xiomara and her sister Milagro fear being deported to El Salvador, though their mother lives there. Back home, gang members had beaten up their father and threatened them for walking into what they consider the gang's territory on their way to school. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
El Salvador migrant Xiomara Henriquez Ayala, 13, peers over the US border fence from Tijuana, Mexico, as Honduran migrant Josue Mejia Lucero, 17, and his sister Lucero, 25, looks on while looking for a way to help Lucero and her son cross undetected. Xiomara and her sister Milagro fear being deported to El Salvador, though their mother lives there. Back home, gang members had beaten up their father and threatened them for walking into what they consider the gang's territory on their way to school. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)
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