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Migrants and Refugees in Mexico shelters

Central American migration

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Until recently, an estimated 500,000 people fled extreme violence and poverty every year in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, heading north through Mexico to find safety.

In the past two years, our teams have witnessed an expansion of the migratory route to incorporate hundreds of thousands of people who have traversed the dangerous Darién Gap - the tropical forest that acts as a natural border between Colombia and Panama. They then travel through Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and the whole Central American region, with the aim to reach Mexico and the US.

Migrants in the region face multiple constraints in accessing basic goods, humanitarian, medical assistance and protection, as well as administrative barriers that make the journey even more difficult. In addition, many experience various forms of violence along the route.  

MSF provides medical-humanitarian care to those who need it most, regardless of their nationality or legal status, in different countries and locations from Panama to the northern border of Mexico. 

San Vicente migration centre
Central American migration

Emergency healthcare and protection needed as more people cross to Panama

Press Release 19 May 2022
Migration in the Americas

Neither dangers nor policies deter migrants making their way to the US

The number of people migrating north through Central America continue to grow despite restrictive policies, dangers en route and violence. MSF teams are working across the region to provide care to people.

Costa Rica

Survivors of sexual violence in the Darién Gap receive care in Costa Rica

Press Release 31 May 2024
Migrant camp in Matamoros
Central American migration

Migrants in Central America and Mexico face violence and abuse

Press Release 27 May 2024
Migrant camp in Matamoros

Violence, desperation and abandonment on the Central American migration route

Report 24 May 2024
Migrants in transit in ECuador, Colombia y Panama

MSF forced to suspend medical care for people on the move in Panama

Press Release 7 Mar 2024
Migrants in transit in Ecuador, Colombia and Panama
Central American migration

Lack of action sees sharp rise in sexual violence on people transiting Darien Gap

Press Release 29 Feb 2024
Migrants in transit in Ecuador, Colombia and Panama
Central American migration

Migrants left without protection as Darién Gap crossings reach half a million

Project Update 30 Nov 2023
Doctors Without Borders alarms insufficient response to the rising migrant influx in Darien jungle

Incidents of sexual violence spike for those crossing Panama’s Darién Gap

Press Release 17 Nov 2023
Dalila and her daughter in Reynosa, Mexico
Central American migration

End of Title 42 will not end crisis for migrants

Press Release 12 May 2023
Migration in the Americas
Central American migration

Barriers don’t deter people making their way to the United States

Project Update 23 Sep 2022
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12 November 2018