New York City-based orphanage leader says there’s no time to lose for Guatemala orphans as the country braces for an influx of migrants.
Read moreAt the end of February, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reported more than 20,000 migrants were arriving in the country, making it the biggest surge in the number of migrants since 2012.
In 2017, it reported more migrants had arrived in the Central American country than in any other year since 2013.
“The situation in Guatemala is very complicated, because it is very difficult to predict the impact,” Jose Luis Murguía, director of the Guatemalan Refugee Association, said in a phone interview.
Murguia said his organization has been trying to raise awareness about the problems of overcrowding in Guatemala.
“We have started educating people, so that they know that the number is really small, that there are many, many orphanages, that they should stay in a different place, that it’s very difficult for them to find a home,” he said.
“We’ve started educating parents about how difficult it is to find an orphanage and what to do in case they need to leave their orphanage.”
Murgusia said the organization is working to help Guatemalans avoid the dangers of overcrowded orphanages and find safe and stable homes.
“There is a huge demand, there is a lot of pressure, but I think it’s a great time to stay in Guatemala, to be able to take care of your children and to stay with family, because the country is going through a lot,” he added.
Migrant families from Central America are arriving in Mexico in record numbers, and Mexican authorities are worried about the humanitarian situation.
Mexico’s government is also facing pressure from Mexico City’s mayor to help those families and to deport them back to Central America, where they are likely to face more abuses and violence.
The mayor of Mexico City has announced he will launch an official search for migrants who have fled Central America to find homes, but Murgusias comments on how to deal with migrants come with a warning.
“This is the way of the future.
It’s the way the world is going,” he told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.
“The government is not going to solve this problem.
There’s no such thing as a solution.”
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has called on the United States to help the government find safe, stable housing for migrants.
Mexico City is the largest city in Guatemala and home to about 2.3 million people.
The United Nations estimates there are as many as 2.5 million migrants living in shelters in Mexico.
That’s about 30 percent of the countrys total population.
Migration is one of the main problems in Guatemala that has contributed to the country’s social crisis, Murgi said.
The majority of migrants are from Central and South America, he said, but Mexico is the main source of migrants heading north.
“This is where they’re coming from,” Murgui said.
In recent months, the migration crisis has made headlines, with the government of Guatemala sending nearly 200,000 migrant families to the United Kingdom in what has been dubbed Operation Migracion.
The government said it would continue the effort.