By Delbert Field
An individual’s decision to migrate may be based on economic need, natural disaster, family reunification, health concerns, insecurity, and sometimes all of these at once.
Guatemalans are no exception to the complex and natural phenomenon of human migration.
Thousands of Central Americans, many from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala travel, undocumented, to the United States of America and Mexico every year.
Many of these migrants face serious obstacles on their way. They become victims of criminal gangs, violence and human trafficking. Others who reach their intended destination are returned to their country of origin where they may find it difficult to reintegrate.
In this context, the mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Guatemala works to support the social reintegration of forced returnees and especially victims of human trafficking.
IOM provides educational scholarships and productive projects for children and adolescents in communities that are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and forced labour.
IOM’s labour migration programme provides temporary work opportunities in Canada and improves the economic potential and situation of Guatemalan agricultural workers at home.
Friends and colleagues, in order to raise awareness of these and other efforts by IOM Guatemala to promote safe and orderly migration, I am pleased to present the first edition of our four-monthly newsletter.
I hope it will serve to strengthen our relationship and understanding, and serve Guatemala and Guatemalan migrants in the process.
Delbert Field, Chief of Mission IOM Guatemala