Honduran child migrants leave home because of poverty and violence

by Joshua Partlow

Children do work at a school in the violent Chamelecon neighborhood of San Pedro Sula in Honduras. In Chamelecon, more than 300 houses have been abandoned, and military police in body armor patrol day and night on Honda dirt bikes. The two main gangs, 18th Street and MS-13, have fought over the area for years, commandeering houses and demanding that residents pay a war tax. “They bleed you,” said Alvin Rolando Baide, 34, who grew up in the neighborhood. “They demand 80 or 90 percent of your salary.” Photo: Joshua Partlow/The Washington Post

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — They are coming to America because a good job here means sewing underwear in a sweatshop for $47 a week.They are leaving neighborhoods where you can walk down block after block of abandoned houses spray-painted with gang graffiti, with collapsed roofs and jungle plants sprouting in the living rooms.