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Migration Maze: Samaritans on the Central American Migrant Route

Nancy San Martin -
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November 24, 2015

Julio Acosta, 40, rests his worn down feet, which were tended to by Doctors Without Borders nurse and social worker Yedid Hernandez at the Centro de Ayuda Humanitaria, Center for Humanitarian Aid, in Chahuites, Mexico. (Patrick Farrell/Miami Herald)


Listen: Tim Padgett interview Nancy San Martin of the Miami Herald

Collectively known as casas para migrantes, houses for migrants, the shelters are places where those in transit to the United States can find relief by way of food, beds, showers or even medical care. The people who offer the services don’t make a profit at the hands of immigrants but rather are on a mission to help.

Like the Underground Railroad of another era, the route across Central America to the U.S. is paved with Samaritans with ties to charitable, religious or non-governmental organizations that assist those who have fled their homelands and risked their health or their lives for a shot at a new start in America.

...Mexico has long served as a migrant path to the United States. But a massive surge in the number of illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border — including a record 68,000 unaccompanied minors — was deemed a crisis last year.

While the number of undocumented migrants crossing the border has slowed significantly, the overall flow of people from across Central America, and now Cuba, continues and the potential for another crisis is looming.

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