Despite recent moves by the US and Guatemalan governments to warn migrants against making the perilous trek, Cuatro Caminos — a muddy sprawl of lean-to barbecue-chicken shacks and wandering, emaciated dogs — has never been busier.

“Nobody cares what the government does,” said Gomez, 51, who has been directing bus traffic here for the last 20 years. He begins work every day at 6 a.m.

“The migrants come from everywhere at all hours of the day and night,” he said, keeping his eyes fixed on the zooming buses and taxis and directing passengers loaded with sacks and backpacks into the right vehicles. “It will never stop.”

In addition to locals who board buses for the three-hour ride to Tapachula and other towns on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, migrants from El Salvador and Honduras also converge here to change buses that will carry them north.