IOM enhance the protection of migrants through donations to the Casas del Migrante in northern Guatemala

OIM incentiva la protección de las personas migrantes mediante donación a las Casas del Migrante en el norte de Guatemala

Petén, Guatemala (21/04/22).- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) made a donation of supplies, furniture and equipment to the Casas del Migrante Betania and Belén, located in La Libertad and Santa Elena, Petén, respectively, the only 2 institutions that provide a response to the humanitarian needs of thousands of migrants who move annually along the northern route from Guatemala to southeastern Mexico.

This migratory corridor is one of the most dangerous in the Central and North America, not only because of the presence of organized crime networks, but also because of the extreme weather conditions, suffocating heat, the little presence of transportation and local businesses.

The delivery consists of dining room tables, chairs, mats, lockers, shelves, stretchers, water dispensers, organizers, refrigerator, bunk beds, industrial-type stove, kitchen utensils, water pumps, fans, plates and cutlery, cleaning supplies, towels, shower curtains and tables for children's play areas. In addition to 350 hygiene kits, 250 clothing kits for boys, girls, adolescents, and adults and 350 snack kits for both boys, girls and adults. The investment was almost 320,000 quetzals (about 42,000 US dollars).

“We seek to enhance the capacities of our partners, such as the Casas del Migrante, so that together we can respond more effectively and promptly to the needs of migrants in vulnerable situations to provide them with adequate and timely protection and assistance”, said Sebastián Berkovich, coordinator of the Protection and Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants project.

This initiative not only seeks to maintain the functioning and infrastructure of the shelters, but also to provide protection to migrants, especially those in situations of vulnerability such as unaccompanied migrant children, migrant women, people with special health conditions, LGTBIQ+ migrants, victims of human trafficking or migrant smuggling, or those who turn to these institutions to access a bath, a hot plate of food or accommodation at night.

These actions have a strong component of defense of the human rights for migrants and encourage migratory governance through the facilitation of alliances that guarantee due process, assistance with respect for cultural maters and the best interests of migrant children.

According to IOM data, since the beginning of 2021 migratory flows and returns have increased at the El Ceibo border, in Petén, presenting new challenges in terms of humanitarian assistance, protection of the dignity of people and assistance in return and reintegration. Casa del Migrante Betania at this border assists about 200 people each week.

Press contact at IOM Guatemala: Melissa Vega, E-mail

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