Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras debut their IOMX communication for development campaigns in August

Date Publish: 
08/08/2019

In August 2019, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras will present their campaigns “Migrar informados” (“Migrating informed”), “Ponele plan a tu vida” (“Plan your life”), and “Echale ganas” (“Go for it”) which have been created through participatory communication for development processes.  These campaigns were developed based on the results of over 1,500 interviews, coordination spaces with over 70 local partners, and participatory validation by the target audience. 

“These are not only communication campaigns, they are the result of a valuable participative, community, and capacity-building process. The focus has always been on understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the target audience in order to promote real social change, through a set of creative, digital tools that are also community-focused and personalized,” stated Tatiana Chacón Salazar, Communication for Development Specialist for IOM. 

In Mexico, the results showed that 97% of migrants in transit would make a great effort to obtain the documents to regularize their residence in the country, but 59% do not know which documents they need. Additionally, 49% of people mentioned not knowing where to look for information about migrating regularly. 

In response to these needs, the campaign “Migrar Informados” in Mexico aims to raise awareness among Central American migrants in transit about means of migration regularization in Mexico and its benefits. The campaign will debut with a series of videos called “Las verdades de un impostor” (“Signs of an impostor”) with participation from actor Guillermo Esquivias. 

In Guatemala, the initial research showed that a large proportion of people would make an effort to obtain documents to migrate regularly, and that over 60% would visit an information center.  Additionally, although the majority was not aware of opportunities for development, education, employment, and entrepreneurship in their communities, over 59% of people would be willing to get involved in these opportunities as an alternative to irregular migration.  

The goal of the campaigns “Ponele plan a tu vida” in Honduras and “Echale ganas” in Guatemala is for young people to reflect on their life plans, and consider alternatives to irregular migration, such as regular migration and local development opportunities.  

 As part of “Ponele plan a tu vida,” a videoclip called “Derribando muros” (“Breaking down walls”) will be released, featuring a rap based on true stories of young people from Cofradía, San Pedro Sula. The videoclip will include the participation of the young singers Mayki Graff and Zetha Urban.   

For its part, in Guatemala, “Echale ganas” will present various videos. The main feature will be “Mi Camino” (“My Journey”), which shows short stories about young people who are overcoming obstacles to build their futures. All participants in the videos are young people who are already part of the local opportunities that are being highlighted in the campaign.  

These campaigns are being supported at the local level by a network of information points, which are different organizations and institutions trained by IOM and government counterparts. They will be able to provide personalized information about regular migration and/or local development opportunities.  

Information about these campaigns is available at https://migrantinfo.iom.int/es [Spanish only], and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @enlacolmena.  

For more information, contact Tatiana Chacón, Communication for Development Specialist of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica - The Caribbean: tchacon@iom.int 

Tags: 
c4d, iomx, comunicación, campañas, prevención, información, desarrollo

IOM organizes double return flight between Belize and El Salvador

Date Publish: 
06 / 07 / 2020

Belize – A plane chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) completed last Friday a round-trip humanitarian flight, carrying 32 Salvadoran nationals from Belize to El Salvador and bringing home 13 Belizeans on the return trip. 

"This is the first large group movement of its kind for stranded migrants in Belize through IOM Assisted Voluntary Return Program," said Diana Locke, IOM's Head of Office in Belize. “This represents a big step in the right direction for the dignified return of migrants in the region.” 

Before the repatriation, IOM staff in both countries provided humanitarian assistance to the returning migrants, including medical and psychosocial support, lodging, food, hygiene kits, and protective gear (masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer). Interviews were conducted remotely, and operations followed the security protocols established by the governments of El Salvador and Belize. IOM also provided pre-departure medical screenings to confirm beneficiaries were in good conditions to travel and to discard COVID-19 related symptoms. Upon arrival in CoO, authorities implemented health protocols at airports and with the support of IOM, facilitated a 14-day quarantine at government-run centers. 

Both groups had been waiting in Belize and Salvador for almost four months due to COVID-19 related border and airport closures. The Salvadoran group included 20 men, 11 women, and one girl. The Belizean group included eight women and five men. 

"There are currently limited routes for migrants to return home. Through the support of and close coordination with government authorities, partners, and IOM teams, we have been able to ensure Salvadorans and Belizeans can reach their countries of origin in a safe and orderly manner," said Malina Gaianu, Project Specialist with IOM Belize. 

IOM supported the Government of Belize and El Salvador in their efforts to return these stranded migrants. These efforts were carefully coordinated with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries and its embassies, ministries of National Security and Health.  

Among the women returning to Belize was Marta, who was looking forward to reuniting with her elderly mother. Marta went through a health screening.  

"My brothers live here in El Salvador,” she explained “And because they are older people, they have health problems. That is why, from time to time, I come to visit them."  

But with travel restrictions in both countries, such travel became nearly impossible. Marta received news that her mother, 96, had suffered an accident, leaving her gravely injured.  She needed IOM’s help to get home.   

"In coordination with the authorities of El Salvador and Belize, we have managed to provide comprehensive assistance to these people who were eager to return to their countries of residence," added Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. "We are especially pleased that this entire process followed the strictest health recommendations." 

Assistance for the return of stranded migrants is part of the Assisted Voluntary Return Programme, an IOM humanitarian project that aims to provide a safe and dignified return for migrants who wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin but do not have the means to do so. The program is funded by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). 

For further information, please contact Jorge Gallo, IOM Regional Office Costa Rica. Tel.: + 506 2212-5300; M. +506 7203-6536.  Email: jgallo@iom.int