Canadian International Council – Canada's hub for international affairs » Canada’s Central American Connection

Interview with Maria Cristina Garcia on Canada’s Central American Connection, August 27, 2014


Central Americans have been migrating to the United States and to Canada for decades now. The wars in Central America displaced a significant percentage of the population from Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and also Honduras, and many of those were uprooted to temporary refuge in neighbouring countries like Costa Rica and Honduras but others travelled further north to Mexico, the United States and Canada. An estimated 2 million of those who fled from Central American from 1974 to 1996 settled in one of these three countries.

Since the 1996 peace accord, the migration of Central Americans has continued, not diminished as was hoped, and it has continued because of the ongoing criminal and political violence in these countries as well as natural disasters like Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and the Salvadoran earthquake in 2001. These disrupted the economy, exacerbated the poverty in the region and in countries that were just barely recovering from civil war.