Central american migrant caravan passing by Chiapas, Mexico on their way to United States. 2018.

Central American Migration Corridor

As of 2020, approximately 16.2 million people have migrated from Central America. 

 Many countries in the region experience high rates of poverty and conflict, which have worsened as a result of the pandemic.  

Migrants leave the region to pursue a better life, to flee violence, and to reunite with family. Most travel north through Mexico to the US. 

Until conditions sustainably improve, migration will be considered a necessity rather than a choice for many. 

However, migrating through Central America can be treacherous, especially for women, children, those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community.  

Many migrants return home due to the challenges they encounter along the way. 

Crossing the Darien Gap 

The Darien Gap is a 100 mile stretch of jungle between Colombia and Panama. For many years, it was considered unnavigable but has become a highly trafficked route for migrant hoping to reach the US, Canada or Mexico.  

In 2021 alone, 91,300 migrants crossed the perilous Darien jungle, nearly 19,000 were children 

Most are from Haiti, Cuba, Africa or Asia.  

Abuse, extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking, sexual violence, and other crimes are common dangers along this route.   

IOM’s Response

IOM takes a comprehensive human-rights-centered approach to the migration challenges encountered in Central America. 

We use programming, policy, research, and partnerships to make a sustainable impact.   

Your support helps IOM programs that: 

Address the effects of climate change and environmental degradation as adverse drivers of migration, by promoting adaptation, and strengthening disaster preparedness and recovery. 

Foster social cohesion, reduce violence and encourage inclusive socioeconomic development in migrants’ host communities and communities of origin.

Strengthen the capacity of governments to provide accessible and equitable quality health, including mental health services for refugees and migrants.  

Protect and assist migrants most vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse, particularly women, children, people with disabilities, and those in the LGBTQ community 

Prevent trafficking in persons and provide safe and sustainable options for survivors to recover and reintegrate into society. 

Work with local governments to manage, collect, analyze and share information on migration in the region to support humanitarian action.