Mexico City - For most of the migrants here, the US midterm elections were a vague rumour, a fragment of information that circulated without meaning. When the results came in on Tuesday, they were splayed out in white plastic tents in an ageing Olympic stadium, after about a thousand miles on the road. They slept or watched cartoons on a giant inflated screen.
If this week's vote was indeed the "election of the caravan," as President Trump said, no one had bothered to tell the caravan.
Their journey never had anything to do with the US elections, and the proof of that disconnect is apparent now, as the migrants continue north, as unaware of American politics as they were two weeks ago.
What happened to the caravan in the wake of the midterm elections? The same thing that happened each day before. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings, thousands of migrants awoke here and planned the journey ahead. They fed their children. They smoked cigarettes. They prayed.
"There was a rumour going around that Donald Trump had supposedly lost, but I don't know if it's true. I do know that there was an election," said Avel Antonio Mejia, 21, from Ocotepeque, Honduras. "Many times other people pass on the news by word of mouth, but we don't know if it's true or false."
Most of the migrants here were unaware of the rumours that the caravan's very existence - their own journey - was a political stunt. Those tweets and news stories were posted while they walked through northern Guatemala and southern Mexico, many without phones or Internet access.
How the world will consider the caravan now, in the wake of the elections, is a different question. The US military inexplicably changed the name of its deployment on the border from "Operation Faithful Patriot" to simply "border support." The number of people typing "caravan" into Google is crashing. Trump only mentioned the caravan once at Thursday's marathon news conference. Americans were sure that the news coverage had slowed.
"Strange that the media isn't all over the caravan story anymore," tweeted Ben Rhodes, a former Obama aide.
On Thursday, there were plenty of reporters in the stadium with the migrants, another aspect of the journey that the travellers had become accustomed. They had been interviewed and photographed. They had been videotaped by camera and drone and iPhone. But they rarely saw where those images were published, or the words that accompanied them, like the Fox News banner headline, "Could Caravan be Bringing Unknown Diseases?"
Mejia said he had been interviewed seven times since he had entered Guatemala.
Kellyn Godoy Hernández, 24, from Valle, Honduras, watched as groups of men lined up to grab spare pairs of jeans from a row of donated cardboard boxes. She had heard the same rumour, that Donald Trump had lost the election.
"Personally, I'm relieved because we know that he's been denying us entry," she said.
But she was not certain that the news, passed around between migrants in the tents set up to distribute food, was accurate. Her Samsung phone had been ruined in the rain, so she had no way to confirm the rumour on her own.
Jonny Alexander Portillo, 24, and his cousin, Gerlin Josué Maldonado, 19, leaned against a jacaranda tree outside the stadium on Thursday afternoon. They had heard there would be elections in the US, and that if one party won, it could be favourable for the remainder of their journey. But they still had not heard about the election outcome.
Eleven of them in total had travelled together, from farmlands in Ocotepeque, and they were not about to turn back.
"We had heard that this was the first of two elections -- and if one group won, it would make our situation better. It would help us not suffer on the way, or once we reached the border," Portillo said.
He still hadn't figured out which party he was supposed to be rooting for.The Washington Post