Canada: New Destiny for Central American Immigrants

Since conditions for migratory control in the United States have been more and more difficult, Canada has become a second choice for Central America migrants.

Several child development organizations emphasize the existence of the program “Preventing irregular migration of children in Central America” ​​(PICMCA).

This program, with a fund of $ 15.2 million and supported by The Canadian government is working to discourage the emigration of young people from the region.

The tragic death of two Central American minors who were in the custody of US officials, after arriving in that country in the caravans of migrants, caught the attention of the international community, according to El Centro News.

Besides these deaths could have been avoided, the most impressive are the images of children separated from their parents and locked in cold cages.

According to data from UNICEF, more and more migrant children around the world are traveling without any companion.

The figure has quintupled between 2011 and 2016, and a third of these children who migrate alone is on the southern US border.

According to official figures, 91% of Guatemalans, 96% of Hondurans and 97% of deported Salvadorans cited the lack of employment opportunities in their countries as the main reason why they wanted to emigrate to the United States.

This causes that they take the risk of going through a long route of 4,000 km of Mexican territory.

The organizations Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), Educo (Spain) and ChildFund International (USA), grouped in the ChildFund Alliance, launched in 2017 the PICMCA program to prevent irregular migration of children from Central America and Mexico.

In the year 2021, the organization hopes to benefit 230 thousand people in needy communities, of which 130 thousand are children and young people.

So far, PICMCA has focused on 129 communities in the most dangerous areas of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras (Northern Triangle countries), as well as Mexico and Nicaragua.

In these countries, it has implemented 30 new prevention programs against violence.

Dave Stell, director of Communications at the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), said that two years after starting operations, the PICMCA program is being successful in preparing young people to find jobs more easily.

He clarified that the team of children’s foundations has been able to confirm that “young Central Americans do not want to leave their cities, their homes, but want to find jobs”.

The work of the organization not only includes preparation for work but workshops that seek to distance them from violence and strengthen them through identity as a social group.

Alicia Avila, director of Educo in El Salvador, said that the program not only focuses on empowering young Central Americans but also their families so they can make a social transformation.

Last December 150 countries, including Canada, signed the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

Canada is convinced that the global migration crisis is a common challenge that can only be addressed through effective international cooperation.

The GCM sets 23 general objectives, each of which focuses on one aspect of migration.

To confront the migration crisis that occurs on the United States and Mexico border, the new Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has declared his interest to talk with his counterparts in Canada and the United States to create a solution.

Photography: RCINET

Finally, and according to Radio Canada Internacional, in the Canadian city Halifax a civilian group was formed in support of walkers when the caravans of migrants started in 2018.

Since then, Canadian activists have organized several activities, no matter the distance, which is long enough.

Founder of Halifax in Solidarity with the Migrant Caravan, Stacey Gómez, explains that the trigger element of the creation of the collective was the death of five people from the caravan as it passed through Mexico.


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