[QODLink]
Americas
Poverty pushing many Guatemalans to US
Risking desert heat, corrupt police, gangs and US immigration, many migrants are heading north.
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2012 06:58

The cost of living in Guatemala is rising, and low wages and a lack of steady job opportunities mean many families are trapped in poverty.

As a result, many Guatemalans head to the US for a better future.

But the trip north is dangerous - with migrants facing challenges like sweltering desert heat, corrupt police, gangs and US immigration.

Many people pay guides to take them across the border, only to be caught at the last minute by US border patrols and sent back to their home country penniless.

The money spent on a failed trip north, which is about $3,000, can mean a lifetime of debt and lost opportunities.

But some attempt the crossing again because it means the chance to make more than ten times what they can earn in Guatemala.

Al Jazeera's David Mercer reports from Tzununa.

137

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.