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  • Writer's pictureVoices from the Border

What is the Darién Gap and What's Happening There?

“The Darién Gap is an imposing obstacle on one of the world’s most dangerous migration routes. The remote, roadless crossing on the border between Colombia and Panama consists of more than sixty miles of dense rain forest, steep mountains, and vast swamps. It is the only overland path connecting Central and South America. Over the past few years, it has become a leading transit point for migrants in search of work and safety in the United States, as authorities have cracked down on other routes by air and sea.”

Full article and photos here:

This summer we have welcomed into our apartments several Venezuelan women who traveled alone from their home country to Nogales, and who by necessity had to cross through the Darién Gap on their journeys northward.

“Last week, Panama’s government announced a new campaign to prevent people from taking the deadly journey through the Darién Gap, one of the world’s most dangerous migrant routes. In 2023, more than 300,000 people have already crossed through the jungle isthmus. Panamanian officials estimate the number will reach 400,000 by the end of the year, which is twice the number of people who made the trek in 2022.” ~ Excerpt taken from a recent piece which includes an excellent podcast by the Border Chronicle.

If you’d like to understand more about the Darién Gap, we encourage you to listen to an interview by Border Chronicle’s Melissa del Bosque with Caitlyn Yates, a PhD student in socio-cultural anthropology at the University of British Columbia, has spent years researching the question, why do people keep risking their lives in the Darién? “Yates has been traveling to the Darién Gap since 2018 to document changes in the region and interview hundreds of people who have chosen to take the risky journey. Her work has especially focused on Black migrants who face some of the worst prejudice and treatment on their journeys north. ‘They risk being robbed, kidnapped or detained repeatedly, which other migrants don’t face to the same degree,’ says Yates.”


We are huge fans of the Border Chronicle, a twice weekly border focused newsletter written by award winning journalists Tod Miller and Melissa del Bosque. We desperately need journalism that is dedicated, insightful, factual, and in depth painting a true picture.

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