Guillermo Arias’s drone shot captures members of a Central American caravan resting on a Mexican sports court

Early in the morning of 28 October 2018, photographer Guillermo Arias released his camera into the air above an outdoor basketball court in San Pedro Tapanatepec, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. As it rose, the camera, attached to a drone, took in a densely crowded scene: migrants from Honduras resting on their 2,700-mile journey towards the US border. “The open court allowed me to use my drone to show a unique perspective on a familiar scene,” says Arias. “It also, despite being photographed at a distance, offers an intimate view on people’s first moments of the day without being invasive.”

A week earlier, Arias, who lives in the northern state of Tijuana, had received an assignment from his editor at Agence France Presse to spend 12 days following a caravan of Central American migrants on their journey north. “I didn’t hesitate,” he says. “I’ve being working on migration themes over the past 15 years but I never got the chance to work on Mexico’s southern border.”

People who commonly travelled in small groups, hidden from the authorities, were suddenly out in the open walking together, being intentionally visible

Related: This is what Trump’s caravan ‘invasion’ really looks like

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