The migratory flow of Nicaraguans has increased dramatically in recent years; and it is estimated that almost 10.5% of the population lives abroad. Since 2018 some 108,000 Nicaraguans have left the country, of which 85,000 have sought refuge in Costa Rica, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Some key reasons Nicaraguans choose to migrate are the country’s poverty, unemployment, and low wages, accompanied by various social problems, violence, and climate change.
Some communities where CANTERA intervenes intensively, such as Mateare and Ciudad Sandino, are locations which are prone to immigration and human trafficking because they are located on the Pan-American Highway. The Pan-American highway is a network of roads that connects all of the Americas, from the southern tip of Argentina up to the northernmost part of Canada and Alaska. The location of this road makes it a commonly-traveled route for people who are migrating. In Mateare, at least five of our beneficiaries live their own migration experience, and the majority of the community knows friends or family who have decided to migrate.
To curb the increasing migration, CANTERA is implementing measures to minimize the migratory flow. CANTERA aims to mitigate the effects, before, during and after migration, by micro-financing projects to promote business ventures and student scholarships for primary through university-level students, thus increasing people’s prosperity and safety in Nicaragua. Furthermore, the beneficiaries are trained on immigration to help ensure a safe, legal, and orderly migration process. They also receive emotional and psychological support after returning home.
At CANTERA, we recognize migration as a universal right, which should be carried out safely and justly. However, we are working to change the reality for Nicaraguans who are most at-risk to protect them from the instability that leads people to migrate. Our goal is to keep people safe and to mitigate the impact of migration, while ensuring that people have accurate, unbiased information on this important topic.