Between October 21 and 26, 2022, the RFM-Panama visited the community of El Zapallal, province of Darién.
The objectives were to:
1. Meet with a group of brothers and sisters from this place who, since July, have organized themselves to attend to the migrants who come out of the jungle and who the RFM-Panama has supported with donations.
2. Gather information on what is happening to migrants in that area of the country.
We arrived at a critical moment, during which the migration authorities and border police prohibited our brothers and sisters from from hosting migrants in the chapel. But their enthusiasm is such that they reorganized to assist with food, and they have also set up some tents on the edge of the main highway where migrants pass on their way to the capital of Panama.
The most important achievement for the RFM-Panama was to establish communications with members of the team in order to receive direct information on what is happening on the southern border of Panama-Colombia, and in this way provide more effective attention to migrants in the northern border of Panama-Costa Rica. This articulation is critical to supporting these communities.
We found that, despite the restrictions on entry to the United States, many migrants are still crossing the jungle. After crossing the jungle and recovering physically, the migrants continue walking towards Panama City, because they are prohibited from using public or private transport for their transfer. They advance in groups of 10 to 20 people; very few go alone.
Peace and all good.