The number of children entering the United States without adults after difficult and dangerous journeys from Central America has been rising dramatically. NBC4's Gadi Schwartz traveled to Guatemala July 6 to visit the front lines of the border crisis. Follow his journey in photos.
This man, Miguel, was deported back to Guatemala. He lost his arm in a car crash when the coyote, or smuggler, who was crossing him over to the U.S. rolled the truck over while evading Border Patrol.
Deported immigrants arrive in Guatemala City on Friday, July 11, 2014. More than 250 will arrive on the same day. So far in July, over 2,000 have been deported back to Guatemala, almost all adults.
This picture of Gilberto Juarez, held by his father, was taken years ago when he was in Guatemala. In the background, an American flag flies over a rainbow and tall buildings. Juarez's body arrived in Guatemala City in a casket on Friday, July 11, 2014. Last month Gilberto was headed to Chicago to join his brother so they could both work to pay their mother's medical bills.
Fransisco Ramos, a corn farmer, waits at the airport in Guatemala City for the return of his son's body, found in the Texas desert. His son Gilberto was 15 years old. Ramos said the family tried to tell Gilberto not to go to the U.S. The family still owes over $2,000 that it borrowed to pay a coyote.
Several immigrant advocates and Guatemalan groups have launched campaigns such as this one in the country to keep people from leaving. The poster tells migrants not to risk the lives of themselves or their children, and warns of the deadly dangers of crossing the desert.
A volcano is seen from the air as Gadi Schwartz flies into Guatemala.
Byron crosses immigrants across the Suchiate River every day from Tecun Uman, Guatemala to Mexico. He charges passengers $1 to take families fleeing Central American violence across the border.
Photographer Eddie Calderon looks over the Suchiate River that forms part of the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Many immigrants cross the river here into Mexico, under the false premise that they will be accepted by the government when they find their way to the United States.
Immigrants cross the border from Guatemala to Mexico. Locals say the amount of immigrant families crossing spiked about a month ago and has dwindled in the recent week because of news reports out of the US that state the rumors of "Permisos" were untrue. Those Gadi Schwartz spoke with are under the impression that the US will immediately deport immigrant families.
David and Alexa are from Honduras. Their mother crossed them at the border between Guatemala and Mexico a few months ago. They will stay in Mexico until their mother can find enough money to take them north.
Gadi Schwartz smiles with a group of children at an orphange.
Anthony is 5 years old. Last year, he watched as his father was gunned down by a gang in Honduras for being a security guard. When his mother found Anthony, he was brushing the flies away from his father's face.
Jefferson and Anderson are brothers. Their father was killed in Honduras. Jefferson said he wanted to be a doctor and said he would return to Honduras. He also said he wanted to return to avenge his father's murder.
Tapachula Plaza was en route to a center for children.
Patchworks of green are seen over Chiapas, Mexico.