Diaspora

Photos: The Arduous Journey of the Haitian Migrants – The Atlantic

Since the country’s devastating earthquake in 2010, which killed more than 200,000 people, tens of thousands of Haitians have fled their crisis-burdened homeland, many traveling to parts of South America. Throughout this year many more have fled, joining previous Haitian expats who have not yet found places to settle—as well as migrants and asylum seekers from many other countries—to make the challenging journey north to the United States border. Individuals and families hoping for new opportunities and a better life have passed through Colombia, entering Panama and traversing Central America. The trip is dangerous, full of obstacles, and covers thousands of miles, some of it through roadless jungle. The arrival of a large group of migrants who recently made it to the U.S. border near Del Rio, Texas, grabbed national headlines, but they have since dispersed—thousands were reportedly released into the United States, more than 4,000 were deported to Haiti, and most of the rest are traveling back into Mexico for the moment. Gathered below are images from recent months of some of the thousands of Haitians (and others) making their perilous trip north.
Haitian migrants cross the jungle of the Darien Gap, near Acandi, Choco department, Colombia, heading to Panama, on September 26, 2021, trying to reach the U.S. From Acandi, they started on foot, armed with machetes, lanterns, and tents, braving the dangerous five-day trek into Panama through the jungle. They have had to battle snakes, steep ravines, swollen rivers, tropical downpours, and criminals, many of whom are linked to drug trafficking.
An aerial view of Necocli, Colombia, on September 23, 2021. Thousands of migrants were stranded in the Colombian port town as they waited for boats to cross into neighboring Panama on their way to the United States, a state relief agency said.
Migrants, mostly Haitians headed toward Panama, board a boat in Necocli, Colombia, bound for Acandi, on September 23, 2021.
Haitian migrants hold their children as they sit in a boat in Acandi, sailing toward Colombia’s border with Panama, on September 25, 2021.
Haitian migrants cross a river in Acandi, Colombia, on horse-drawn wagons before heading to the border with Panama, on September 25, 2021.
A Haitian migrant woman carries a toddler as she crosses the jungle of the Darien Gap, near Acandi, Colombia, on September 26, 2021, on their way toward the U.S.
A Haitian woman is helped by fellow migrants on a muddy path in the jungle of the Darien Gap, near Acandi, on September 26, 2021.
A group of migrants cross the Chucunaque River in Darien province, Panama, on August 22, 2021.
Members of Panama’s National Border Service help migrants cross the Chucunaque River in Bajo Chiquito village, Darien province, Panama, on February 10, 2021.
A view of a migrant camp in Bajo Chiquito village, Panama, on February 10, 2021
A woman and a child wait to be transported from Bajo Chiquito village to the Migrants Reception Station in Lajas Blancas, Darien province, in Panama, on August 23, 2021.
Migrants wait in a line to be transported from Bajo Chiquito village to the Migrants Reception Station in Lajas Blancas, Panama, on August 23, 2021.
In Trojes municipality, Honduras, on the border with Nicaragua, migrants wait at the migration office with the hope of getting a safeguard to continue on their way in a caravan heading to the United States, on April 21, 2021.
A Haitian migrant, hoping to reach the U.S.-Mexico border, spends time with a child at the Jesus Esta Vivo shelter in Danli, Honduras, on September 22, 2021.
Haitian migrants walk along the highway in Huixtla, Chiapas state, Mexico, on September 2, 2021, on their journey toward the U.S.
Mexican immigration agents detain a Haitian migrant in Escuintla, Chiapas state, Mexico, on September 2, 2021.
Haitian migrants cross to and from the United States from Mexico, walking along a weir dam on the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, on September 17, 2021.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officers attempt to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas, on September 19, 2021.
Haitian migrants, part of a group of more than 10,000 people staying in an encampment on the U.S. side of the border, cross the Rio Grande to get food and water in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, on September 19, 2021.
Border Patrol agents watch as Haitian migrants cross the Rio Grande back into Mexico from Del Rio, Texas, on September 20, 2021. As U.S. immigration authorities began deporting migrants to Haiti from Del Rio, thousands more waited in a camp under an international bridge in Del Rio, while others crossed the river back into Mexico to avoid deportation.
Haitian migrants cross the Rio Grande back into Mexico from Del Rio, Texas, on September 20, 2021.
Migrants are seen in an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande, in Del Rio, Texas, on September 21, 2021.
Dozens of Texas Department of Safety vehicles line up on the Texas side of the Rio Grande, with Mexico visible at right, near an encampment of migrants in Del Rio, Texas, on September 22, 2021.
Pastor Marco Antonio Muniz cooks chicken for Haitian migrants in the Parque Ecologico Braulio Fernandez in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, on September 22, 2021.
A Haitian migrant is silhouetted on an improvised pitch during a game of soccer as the sun sets at a camp in Ciudad Acuña, on September 22, 2021.
Haitians listen to news from Mexican National Institute of Migration officials on September 23, 2021 in Parque Ecologico Braulio Fernandez, where Haitian migrants who abandoned the large camp in Del Rio, Texas, started settling. NIM officials came to the camp during the day to try to persuade migrants to leave the park on buses, and to be transported to Tapachula, but most of them refused.
Haitian migrants cross the Rio Grande, as seen from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, on September 23, 2021.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents rescue a young Haitian migrant from the Rio Grande at the Mexico-U.S. border near Ciudad Acuña, on September 23, 2021.
A Haitian boy peers from a tent at the Terraza Fandango shelter, in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, on September 25, 2021.
A U.S. National Guard Humvee sits parked in an empty space where an encampment of about 15,000 Haitians was located only days before, under the Del Rio Port of Entry, which reopened after being closed for more than a week, on September, 25, 2021.
Selomourd Menrrivil, from Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, looks at his cellphone as he gathers with other migrants in Monterrey, Mexico, on September 23, 2021. Menrrivil, 43, continued receiving daily updates all week from other Haitians in Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña, after arriving with his wife and two teen daughters, and has decided to legalize his status in Mexico.
Haitians who were deported from the United States deplane at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on September 19, 2021.
A member of the Border Humanitarian Coalition (right) guides migrants, mostly from Haiti, as they are released from United States Border Patrol custody upon crossing the Texas-Mexico border in search of asylum in Del Rio, Texas, on September 22, 2021.
A child sleeps on the shoulder of a woman as they prepare to board a bus to San Antonio, moments after a group of migrants, many from Haiti, were released from custody upon crossing the Texas-Mexico border in search of asylum, in Del Rio, Texas, on September 22, 2021.
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