A journey of thousands of people to a new life
All migrants from South America who want to reach the United States have to pass through the Darién bottleneck. When they reach the border between Colombia and Panama, the road ends and the Darién begins, an odyssey of kilometres of jungle.
According to Panamanian authorities, in 2021 more than 130,000 people made the route, 19,000 of whom were children. Many of the migrants who venture on the route are illegal immigrants from South American countries who fear deportation to their countries of origin, so the only way out is to cross the jungle to make their way to the United States.
Apart from the human losses, this migratory phenomenon is also affecting the economy and tourism in the area, especially along the coasts of Colombia and Panama.
Necocli: makeshift camps
The journey begins in Necoclí, a spot on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, a place where countless travellers arrive in search of a weekend of cocktails, sand and sun. But it is also where immigrants from all over the world gather. In the port of Necoclí, up to 15,000 immigrants have gathered, a very high number for a place that does not have the infrastructure to accommodate such a large number of visitors, so they set up makeshift camps on the beaches and settle there for weeks waiting for a place on one of the boats that will take them from Necoclí to the other side of the gulf, Capurganá.