CHIAPAS STATE, Mexico – It's been two weeks since a group of Hondurans left their homes with plans to walk to the US for asylum, resulting in a caravan of thousands who joined along the way.
Most of these migrants plan to cross into the US illegally, and that's raising questions about the motivations of those supporting and encouraging this group.
CBN News Contributing Correspondent Chuck Holton embeded with the caravan in Mexico to investigate.
This massive caravan currently making it's way north through Mexico is no isolated event. Immigrants from around the world have traveled this route for decades.
Making the 1400-mile trek is always a difficult and dangerous undertaking. It would be almost impossible for the majority of migrants to make the journey if it weren't for organizations that encourage and assist them on their way.
This most recent caravan has prompted many to ask about who is helping to facilitate what is becoming one of the largest mass migrations of modern history.
"We're giving them tortillas, we've already given out tamales for breakfast, coffee, bread," said one man from a Catholic Church handing out food in Huixtla.
Jacin Matacon from the Church of the Nazarene in Huixtla said, "We are here to support our brothers who are coming from Central America, giving them water, food, clothing and everything that they need. This is the first time we have come out because we've never seen such a large group passing through."
But the Mexican government is having trouble deciding how or even if they should help these migrants who have come into their country illegally.
"I'm just outside of Tapachula in southern Mexico, and a group of migrants just walked by, they are behind the main group but it's still a couple hundred people," Holton says. "And they were stopped by some immigration agents in several immigration vans that are basically just encouraging them to take the legal steps necessary to declare asylum in Mexico but the migrants didn't like that idea and they ran off and so now the police and the immigration authorities are just kind of standing around trying to figure out what to do."
When the confrontation happened, another group of supporters showed up. Members of the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFOR), a left-wing group committed to open borders and gun control, stepped between the migrants and the Mexican police, and they didn't want to be filmed by CBN News.
A Mexican INS official told the SweFOR reps, "We aren't attacking or hurting anyone. We are only here to offer support."
"Anyone seeing the images of exhausted mothers carrying their babies in the hot sun can't help but have their heartstrings tugged. But many people are starting to ask whether charity has to include helping people make bad choices," Holton says.
Graham Davis, founder of the Advance Project said, "They don't need to leave. They can stay and develop their own land."
Graham and his wife Nicole moved to Central America five years ago to help young people break the cycle of violence and poverty.
He told us, "We have based our foundation on the obvious principles that it makes more sense to meet people where they are. It's much more cost effective and it's much more successful than moving them across borders and forcing them into a new education system. We meet them right where they are and care for them and they grow. We are earning the right to be heard by moving into their neighborhood and educating them."
"Our students aren't running for the border," he said. "They see the value in being where they are and growing in leadership. The Advance Project develops leaders in the developing world. That's what we do."
Through mentoring, education, leadership and the gospel, this family is making a difference by showing a young generation of Central Americans that they don't necessarily need the United States. What they need is Jesus.