An Immigrant's Journey
In 2015, 928,000 Guatemalans immigrated to the US, over 27% of the total number of immigrants from Central America. The trend continues (Migration Policy.org). Why are so many people fleeing Guatemala?
More than 75% of Guatemala’s population lives below the poverty line, and 42% of citizens don’t have access to clean water. Over half of children in Guatemala have chronic malnutrition; in some areas this number jumps to over 90%. Sixty percent of the country is controlled by drug trafficking gangs, who forcibly enlist young men, often under threat of torture or death. Gang violence against women is on the rise: “Women are often found tortured, mutilated, raped, and dismembered, yet, more strikingly, 98% of those cases remain unsolved” (Guatemalan Human Rights Commission).
If you were fleeing Guatemala for the United States, what choices would you make for you and your family? Take our journey to understand the real dilemmas Guatemalan emigrants face.*
*modelled after the BBC’s “Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route”
It is easier to go undetected, it is cheaper, and you don’t have to travel with a limited number of people.
It can be tiring and will be a longer journey.
You have to carry all your belongings.
You will be exposed to harsh elements.
It is faster and the journey is not so exhausting, and you will have less exposure to the elements.
It will cost you much of your savings, it will be harder to hide from the authorities, and you may not be able to take your whole group/ family.