Published: Volume 7, Issue 42
The Darién jungle, located between Colombia and Panama, has witnessed a significant surge in migrant crossings this year, with Ecuadorians emerging as the second-largest nationality to brave the perilous journey, according to a report released by the Panamanian Government on Monday, July 31, 2023.
In the first seven months of 2023, a staggering 34,357 Ecuadorians crossed the border, surpassing the total number of Ecuadorian migrants who made the journey in all of 2022, which stood at 29,000, as reported by the Panama Migration Office. July alone witnessed a record-breaking number of almost 10,000 Ecuadorians making the treacherous trek.
As of the end of June, Ecuadorians ranked third among the nationalities frequently crossing the Darién, trailing behind Venezuelans and Haitians. However, this recent surge has propelled them to second place in the list of those undertaking the daunting journey through the dense and hazardous jungle.
The total number of migrants crossing the Darién in the first seven months of 2023 has reached a staggering 248,901, surpassing the entire count of 248,284 migrants who crossed in the entirety of 2022. Panamanian authorities project that this figure will continue to rise, with an estimated total of more than 400,000 migrants expected to brave the treacherous jungle by the end of the year.
Among the nationalities undertaking this dangerous expedition, Venezuelans top the list with 136,650 migrants, while Haitians follow Ecuador closely with 34,082, and Colombians with 8,183. Indians account for 3,299 of the migrants making their way through the Darién.
The report also sheds light on the vulnerable demographic of these migrants, revealing that approximately 21% of the total number are children and adolescents. Even more concerning, approximately 51% of these young travelers are infants aged five years or younger.