Between 2011 and 2016, the number of people from the Northern Triangle who have sought refuge in surrounding countries increased by 2,249 percent.
539,500 displaced people
By the end of 2019, there are expected to be 539,500 people displaced from Central America.
49,000 Salvadorian children
drop out of school
In 2018 alone, 49,000 children and adolescents in El Salvador dropped out of school. In Guatemala and Honduras, there are over 2 million children out of school.
Gang warfare and violence have transformed parts of Central America into some of the most dangerous places on earth. In recent years, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala (known as the Northern Triangle) have experienced a dramatic escalation in organized crime by gangs, called maras.
Thousands of parents have fled with their families and, in many cases, children have made the perilous journey alone. These unaccompanied children are some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees – they have witnessed horrific violence and faced extreme risk. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is on the ground responding to this mounting crisis, but the needs are growing.
Current homicide rates are among the highest ever recorded in Central America. Several cities, including San Salvador, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, are among the 10 most dangerous in the world. The most visible evidence of violence is the high rate of brutal homicides, but other human rights abuses are on the rise, including the recruitment of children into gangs, extortion and sexual violence.
UNHCR is helping provide shelter and protection for families on the run, including cash assistance, education programs, temporary accommodation and legal services.
Refugee mother finds hope and opportunity in Mexico
UNHCR appeals for regional talks on Central America displacement
Three Salvadorian children who now live in a bakery in Guatemala after fleeing due to gang violence.