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Understanding the Impact of Venezuelan Mass Migration in Colombia Beyond Borders: Colombia’s Response to Venezuelan Mass Migration

“More than 6.1 million refugees and migrants have left Venezuela due to the political turmoil, socio-economic instability, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis” (IOM). “Even early in the crisis (2018), when only one million had fled, it was deemed the largest-ever refugee crisis in Latin America” (CDP). As of 2022, “Close to 2.5 million Venezuelans are living in Colombia, having fled their home country’s economic collapse and political crisis” (International Crisis Group). However, “there has been a steady increase in the number of Venezuelans returning from host countries, motivated mainly by the lack of integration opportunities and cases of intolerance and xenophobia, as well as the desire for family reunification...” (UNHCR). This Alternative Break trip would look to learn first-hand the impacts of Venezuelan mass migration on surrounding countries, specifically Colombia because it has received the largest number of migrants. Through conversations with community partners and migrants themselves, students will be able to gain a holistic understanding of the current crisis. The goal is to understand better how community organizers are responding and reacting to the mass migration and, in the process, see how Colombia’s government and immigration policies affect migrants' integration into society. Students will gain insight into initiatives or tactics that have or have not been effective in supporting migrants in Colombia. With a look into Colombia’s current climate, students can reflect on their experiences and knowledge in and of the U.S. and how it deals with or views mass migration. Students will be exposed to different possibilities of how we can be agents of change and gain new perspectives on how we can better shape our individual advocacy efforts and strides towards social justice, considering Colombia’s current situation parallels that of the United States, with the U.S. having more immigrants than any country in the world (PEW) and 545,000 Venezuelan immigrants in 2021 (MPI).

Dates of Engagement: March 8th - March 17th, 2024

Estimated Cost: $2,300.00 USD

*Travel grant available on application.

Edwin Santos and Jeremy Acaba 

Apply TODAY!

Columbia's application is open. To learn more about the other Alternative Break programs in 2023-24, visit our program page.

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