In Latin America, a lack of job opportunities, access to education, political corruption, and impunity have persisted for generations fueling a circle of violence and displacement that is both the symptom and the cause of disrupted societies.
For four years, I have traveled along migration routes documenting the journey of refugees and migrants from Venezuela to Colombia and from Central America to Mexico and the United States. Following children, adolescents, and pregnant and nursing women from different countries, I have seen countless stories of loss merging into a single narrative through the eyes of the most vulnerable migrants: those who are born, grow and die on the move.
A political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela led to an outflow of five million migrants from 2016. Colombia is the country most impacted by this exodus. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 1.8 million Venezuelans are in Colombia, of which half a million are children: a number underestimated since not everyone is registered.
In 2021, after hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Central America, I went to Honduras. There, flooding and mudslides affected 4.5 million victims, fueling one of the most significant migrations of the last decade directed to the United States. I have documented the migrants’ journey keeping in mind the diversity of reasons that push each population to emigrate, but with a sense that human mobility defines the continent’s societies. Decades of civil war, endemic poverty, or violence make it hard for migrants to find better conditions than those fleeing. Crossing borderlands controlled by gangs and rebel groups, people are exposed to trafficking and recruitment. Some never reach their destination. Others continue to move, often by foot, hoping to find a place where to start a new chapter of their lives.
Photo copyright: © Nicolò Filippo Rosso