The Darien Gap. The thick jungle that separates continents and human rights. Only 66 miles of one of the wettest places on earth, but also the “funnel” where the most vulnerable pass through escaping hardship, crime, and war.
From the northern tip of Colombia in South America to the southern tip of Panama in Central America, this dangerous jungle exists. This short 106 kilometers of wetlands and mountains is the only area where one can’t drive from Alaska to Argentina. In over 19,000 miles of the Pan American Highway from north to south, this is the only area without a road.
Thousands of Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians, and Ecuadorians, to Chinese, Afghans, Cameroonians, Bangles, Indians,…all try to cross this great jungle on foot in search of a better life. This dense jungle is home to jaguars, venomous snakes and frogs, crocodiles, and indigenous tribes. But it also has organized crime of human traffickers who rob, rape, and kill. It’s a very dangerous place.
In 2022, an estimated 250,000 migrants passed through this jungle. This year of 2023, that previous record was broken in August, and human right agencies are estimating an astounding 450,000 migrants and refugees will try and cross. Many will encounter criminal groups, sexual assaults, dangerous animals, high temperatures, many rivers to cross, lack of water and food, no communication, dehydration, insect bites, and wounds on feet and legs from the very difficult terrain. Some will not make it out alive.
We want to help. As stated in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to seek asylum in other countries from persecution.
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