In Mexico, in August 2021, the fieldwork mainly focused on Tenosique, Tabasco and El Ceibo, Guatemala. In both cities there are migrant shelters that provide humanitarian aid and legal assistance to migrants crossing Mexico, they are mainly Central and South Americans heading to the United States. Over the past 10 years, this border region has become an important route for migrants forced to flee their countries. In Tenosique, the freight train station, used by migrants to travel to northern Mexico, was a nodal point for this migratory route. As a response to the increase of the migratory flow, the ‘La 72’ Migrant Shelter was founded in 2011. Currently, it provides support to -mainly- asylum seekers from Central America. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the closure of operations of the freight train -due to the development mega-projects implemented by the Mexican federal government-, new spatial and temporal migratory dynamics have recently emerged in this city.
At the same time, the border-crossing point between Guatemala and Mexico, El Ceibo, has consolidated in the last decade as a node-city for the migration industry. The recent massive deportations -of mainly Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran migrants detained in Mexico or in the United States- carried out at this border-crossing point, has caused an important transformation of the city. Since the beginning of August 2021, the Migrant Shelter ‘El Ceibo’ has provided support to dozens of deported migrants forced to return to their places of origin.