Survivors of Guatemalan mudslide face death or emigration

August 11, 2021 ☼ migrationclimate

Source: Star Tribune - Link

Many were like Victor Cal, famished and impoverished. He had served in the army, mustering out as a corporal. An indigenous Mayan who speaks Pocomchí, he failed to find work in Guatemala City. When the pandemic hit, he joined thousands who fled the capital to return to their agricultural hometowns in the mountains.

His father’s land in Quejá, with its coffee, cardamon, corn and beans, sounded like a safe place. At least there will be food, he thought.

He was wrong.

In his worst nightmare, he could not imagine that a hurricane’s rains could bring a mountain down and destroy it all – house, land, town. He and his parents were left destitute by a fierce hurricane Eta, displaced and dependent on relief from international organizations in a desperately shabby settlement called Nuevo Quejá.

There is no stopping the mass migration of humanity due to climate change. Borders are fiction when starvation is the alternative to getting out.