Abandoned migrant camp in the village of the Guna Tribe in Panama, steps from the Darien jungle.

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January 20, 2022

By: Oscar Blue Ramirez

Anachucuna Panama.- The Guna tribe has received on their island hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrive through their territory to go to the Darien jungle that is behind the village.

As a result of the increase in migration, the Guna community and the tribal council made the decision to establish a camp to the northwest of the village in order to receive the thousands of migrants who arrive in their territory. Multiple times the tribe has requested support from the Panamanian authorities but the support has not been enough to control migration to this place.

One of the representatives of the village guides us to the camp and in the process explains to us that this started in 2015 with the Cuban migration.

“All this started with Cuban migrants but from then on, compared to 2021 and 2022, it got out of control, there were thousands every day, we had to make a camp for them and then they asked us to take them to the other side of the jungle with what they paid us, we maintained the camp.”

The representative tells us that Baños spells had to be done next to Del Mar for the reason that migrants relieved themselves around the village.

“Los Baños were made because the community complained a lot about them and we had meetings every day to find out how we were going to control it. In addition, we had to implement a schedule to protect our village since there was a lot of temptation with the women and to avoid diseases in both On both sides we decided to fence off the camp and set schedules.”

In the camp there is the secondary effect that is the large amount of garbage that has been left in the village.

“We are left with a large amount of garbage, we have no place to deposit it and the beach is contaminated, and malaria has spread further and affected the young generations of our village.”

One of the things mentioned by the representative of the tribe that has affected them as a result of the migration is the damage to the coconut palms of the tribe since migrants for reasons of food scarcity cut the coconuts before they mature and thus they they don’t know what affects the plant.

“Coconuts are our international trade material with the country of Colombia, it is the most important resource to sustain ourselves and that is how we exchange rice and corn with Colombia, but the migrants do not know that and they cut the coconuts before they mature and they affect the plant and we affect us.”

Migration through this sector has been extremely suffered and hurt, where thousands of migrants and children have passed through the dangerous Darien jungle where they are trying to reach the American dream.

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