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How does a Central American migrant caravan form?

Published
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018 file photo, migrants charge their cell phones as a caravan of Central Americans trying to reach the U.S. border halts for a rest day in San Pedro Tapanatepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico. Hundreds of Central Americans are now getting as many details as possible before leaving north towards the U.S. border. Increasingly they’re organized over Facebook and WhatsApp as they try to join together in large groups they hope will make the trip safer, and without having to hide themselves from authorities. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — "When does the next caravan leave?" ''Can I go? I'm from Guatemala." ''What papers do I need for my kids?"

The questions pile up on the phones of hundreds of Central Americans, all with the same goal: Get as many details as possible before leaving their country.

Costly phone calls with relatives and friends in the United States to work out the route or find the best smuggler are a thing of the past for many Central Americans. Now would-be migrants create chat groups and organize using social media to leave in caravans.

Increasingly they're organized over Facebook and WhatsApp as they try to join together in large groups they hope will make the trip safer, and without having to hide from authorities.

FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2019 file photo, 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. Hundreds of Central Americans are now getting as many details as possible before leaving north towards the U.S. border. Increasingly they’re organized over Facebook and WhatsApp as they try to join together in large groups they hope will make the trip safer, and without having to hide themselves from authorities. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018 file photo, migrants charge their cell phones as a caravan of Central Americans trying to reach the U.S. border halts for a rest day in San Pedro Tapanatepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico. Hundreds of Central Americans are now getting as many details as possible before leaving north towards the U.S. border. Increasingly they’re organized over Facebook and WhatsApp as they try to join together in large groups they hope will make the trip safer, and without having to hide themselves from authorities. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018 file photo, migrants charge their cell phones as a caravan of Central Americans trying to reach the U.S. border halts for a rest day in San Pedro Tapanatepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico. Hundreds of Central Americans are now getting as many details as possible before leaving north towards the U.S. border. Increasingly they’re organized over Facebook and WhatsApp as they try to join together in large groups they hope will make the trip safer, and without having to hide themselves from authorities. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2019 file photo, 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. Hundreds of Central Americans are now getting as many details as possible before leaving north towards the U.S. border. Increasingly they’re organized over Facebook and WhatsApp as they try to join together in large groups they hope will make the trip safer, and without having to hide themselves from authorities. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2019 file photo, 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. Hundreds of Central Americans are now getting as many details as possible before leaving north towards the U.S. border. Increasingly they’re organized over Facebook and WhatsApp as they try to join together in large groups they hope will make the trip safer, and without having to hide themselves from authorities. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel, File)