On October 9, thousands of Salvadorans took part in a “reverse caravan” to demand that the far-right government of President Nayib Bukele take measures to help reduce migration out of the country. Under the banner of “I’m staying in El Salvador”, around 2,000 citizens from different parts of the country gathered at the Las Chinamas border crossing with Guatemala and marched inwards towards the capital San Salvador.
The young protesters, mostly from humble communities, demanded that the government support them in completing their studies and provide them with quality employment opportunities so that they are not forced to emigrate. While thousands of citizens are forced to leave the country in migrant caravans in search of better livelihoods, the participants of the march ratified their willingness to stay in the country.
The symbolic protest was organized by the Forever Foundation. The organization advocates for an integration of government, business sector and civil society to support social and economic development in the country.
— Fundación Forever (@FundacionForeve) October 9, 2021
Since 2018, thousands of Central Americans from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua have been traveling in large groups to the US with hope to apply for humanitarian asylum there. They seek to escape extreme poverty, violence, corruption, unemployment and lack of opportunities in their countries.
According to various organizations, between 200 to 300 desperate Salvadorans leave their nation every day, despite the risks of irregular migration.
Likewise, according to the US Department of Homeland Security show, between October 2020 and August 2021, around 88,000 Salvadorans have been detained for irregularly entering the country. Meanwhile, the US Customs and Border Protection registered an average of 260 such cases every day and almost 8,000 every month. The figures have been the highest in recent history.