'Las Patronas' and the journey north
Immigrants arrive for a rest stop after a 15 hour ride atop a freight train headed north early on August 4, 2013 in Ixtepec, Mexico. Thousands of migrants ride atop the trains, known as 'la bestia,' or the beast, during their long and perilous journey through Mexico to the U.S. border. Many of the immigrants are robbed or assaulted by gangs who control the train tops, while others fall asleep and tumble down, losing limbs or perishing under the wheels of the trains. Only a fraction of the immigrants who start the journey will arrive safely on their first attempt to illegally enter the United States.
A group of Mexican women, "Las Patronas," are helping migrants on their journey north. The BBC's Will Grant explains:
That simple, instinctive act of kindness by the young girls was to lead to the creation of Las Patronas, a charitable organisation which has helped tens of thousands of Central American migrants over the past two decades and which was awarded Mexico's most prestigious human rights prize last year.