Why migrants are fleeing Guatemala

ABC News’ Marcus Moore reports from Guatemala on the poverty and violence contributing to the mass exodus of migrants to the U.S.
6:53 | 03/31/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Why migrants are fleeing Guatemala
They vice president Connell Harris place your first call to the president of Guatemala to discuss the need to work together in order to stem the influx of Guatemala's coming to the border and creating opportunities for them at home. But the reality is life for many people in Guatemala is mired with poverty and violence. Our Marcus Moore traveled to the Central American nation where he spoke to people who aren't desperate to make the trek north. In hopes of finding a new life. Away from the hustle and bustle of Guatemala's capital city. Small communities dot the mountainous terrain. It is unequivocally beautiful majestic keep him but in the midst of the serene he used people here are struggling to survive. There is extreme poverty when out of myeloma article one is a single mothers sharing this house with three of her kids and their parents about three hours from Guatemala City. It is not much but it's her little mention a she calls. It's a question for me to have you in my mansion and failure. In my home my ten home but it's myelin a home. The Primakov and wouldn't you somewhere when he got route. Into. Yes that's very beautiful very beautiful it's a place of lots of fresh air and healthy because there's not lot of pollution from cars. The 35 you'll chills to Cameron seems to earn a living but a full day's work isn't nearly enough to support for. Local and eleventh all of the I was in the not confident. Whatever you Macon and day is not enough to get to food so that as my situation here. It's tough because I am both the mother and the father of my children and I'm giving them an education for all three of them are in school. They asking for things for school I don't have any money. I have to go out and where I have to go out and wash and iron. And search whatever it can't find for being. Even though her earnings aren't sustainable she's gathering all she can. To pay a smuggler to take her to the United States. But it is not an easy choice. The tears that pulled down her cheek review the weight of her decision right now she doesn't have the money to bring her kids on the Robiskie jury whether. She has no choice but to leave them behind. Sometimes I see my son walking their fun and I say to him put on some shoes. My shoes are broken health saying. And I'll say you season and that's why want to leave. It'll come back to me and saying no mommy I'd rather walk barefoot. I'd rather Wear the same clothes I'd rather work quirk for a job. We're all going to make it through. It was alchemy sequels. I've always been with my children. I've never left them when I go off to work I try to get home quickly to you with them so I'm afraid to be far away from me. He got Alpenfels Eagles he's. Not pleasant going to Ronald Ramallah whole gotten out of the mantle eve impulses can. I imagine well to be honest it's something national pain. I hadn't thought about it that way. I haven't thought about it that way because as I mentioned being here only thing that you think about is getting there. Warner is determined to join the nearly one million Guatemala's already living in the United States. Her kids for now we'll be without her so she could provide a better life for them. Guatemala is the fifth poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean. About 60% O Guatemala's live in poverty most of them are indigenous. It also has the six highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world. Almost half of children under the age of five here are malnourished. And what what Ramallah remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world according to the State Department. Even as poverty and lack of jobs that drive multiple people who seek to migrate to the United States. The journey starts with people like this meant a coyote named Freddie since 2012 he says he's helped more than 4000 people cross into the US. And with an air of confidence he says he's not worried about getting caught. And on the local biomass allow felt funny that this I'm not worried about the authority. Either American or Mexican in the you know not eat any authorities here who may want to detain me. One way or another look we are going to leave with of we're going to transfer people over moments of hey okay. Do Freddie is also a Christian pastor preaching to his followers he believes that by helping people cross the border. He's doing God's work. Jose is one of his clients the 21 year old plans to give his motorcycle it was brother. It is mortgaging his property to help pay for the costly trip north next week. His story is the same as so many others we've met here he wants to Arnold livable wage was worked to better provide for his found. Larry Natalie good out and we go to. While life here is very tough in light very tough because there are no jobs. They're very scarce. And let's say you find a job they'll pay you courtly and will want to exploit. If his journey to the United States goes as planned the lived up crossing the river separating Guatemala and Mexico. The scene location where we watched as dozens of people ferried over to the Northern Bank. And within ushered into a fleet of waiting taxicabs. All for being whisked away down a dusty road. Women and children. On the Guatemalan side. Loading onto the boats. Many of them would just one bag each. And they'll get onto these bolts and if it really does seem like this a system an organized system that is running like clockwork. A steady flow of mid women and children many with nothing more than a single back and the dream fueled by hope for safer and better life. It is something that's been occurring now for years we also saw we were in Mexico and 2018. Modeled on the highway here you'll see moments where migrants who literally blocking the highway hoping that a truck like this we'll stop and give him a ride out. Certainly get you think the bid that the desperation. Reddy says the stream of people in Guatemala wanting to head north won't stop. Until economic conditions improve for everyone in the country. I wanna each day is bringing her closer to getting the money she needs to cross over to the US. But it also means those precious few moments with her kids are dwindling. And right now it's clear they want nothing more than for her to remain Patterson actually the fourth. Marcus Moore ABC news she can only Guatemala. Interesting to see what motivates people are thanks to Marcus for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"6:53","description":"ABC News’ Marcus Moore reports from Guatemala on the poverty and violence contributing to the mass exodus of migrants to the U.S.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/International","id":"76781576","title":"Why migrants are fleeing Guatemala","url":"/International/video/migrants-fleeing-guatemala-76781576"}