Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica ends year with more than 26,000 ‘irregular migrants’ on the books

December 20, 2016

See also: Cuban migrants storm Costa Rica-Panama border demanding to pass

Costa Rica saw an “unprecedented” migratory flow into the country this year, with tens of thousands of mainly Cubans, Haitians and Africans seeking passage to the United States.

Communications Minister Mauricio Herrera said in a statement that “more than 26,000 irregular migrants entered the country” from the southern border with Panama. Most of them arrived this year, though up to 8,000 were Cubans who became stranded in Costa Rica in late 2015 when neighboring Nicaragua closed its border to them.

Costa Rica eventually organized flights in early 2016 to let them skip over Nicaragua and make their way to the U.S. border, although it took months to resolve additional Cuban migrant flows.

Since then, the biggest flow has been that of Haitians, along with smaller numbers of Africans.

Many of them also face difficulties trying to get through Nicaragua, staying in shelters and camps in northern Costa Rica while turning to people-smugglers for help to cross the border. They are been given temporary visas, but no right to work.

“This could have been the biggest migratory crisis in the country, but it was an opportunity for Costa Rica to show the world its vocation in defending human rights,” Herrera said.

As The Tico Times reported earlier this year, the vastness of South America’s jungles and mountains disperses the flow of migrants from around the world across a wide area, but the Central American isthmus is a bottleneck. Thoughout the year, Costa Rica found itself playing the unwanted role of host to thousands of people hoping to pass through on their way north.

Read more: Nowhere to go – a day at a Costa Rican migrant shelter

You may be interested

Several institutions suspend operations due to Orange Alert
Costa Rica
476 views
Costa Rica
476 views

Several institutions suspend operations due to Orange Alert

The Tico Times - July 14, 2020

Several Costa Rican institutions have reduced or suspended operations this week due to the Orange Alert that comprises the Greater…

News briefs: Health Ministry condemns those who don’t believe in pandemic
Costa Rica
4795 views
Costa Rica
4795 views

News briefs: Health Ministry condemns those who don’t believe in pandemic

The Tico Times - July 14, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 13, 2020
Costa Rica
21344 views
Costa Rica
21344 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for July 13, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 13, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 440 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 8,036 cumulative known cases, the Health…