Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

US Exodus: How Climate Changed Sparked Migration

Aug 01, 2019 10:27 AM EDT

(Photo : Tama66)

GUIOR, Guatemala -- At sunrise, the fields in the village of Guior are already dotted with men, women and their young children sowing maize. Overnight, they had spent saving what is left of their crops after a strong thunderstorm. 

After several years of drought, finally, the downpour brought some kind of relief to the families of farmers in Guatemala. For a moment there, they thought it was some form substinence that will make them survive yet years of drought and famine. 

However, most of the farmers are still thinking about incurring debt and risk their lives to get their application for migration to the US approved. Esteban Gutierez, 30, takes a break from his work and explains why he is still willing to go through all the trouble. 

"My children have gone to bed hungry over the last three years.Our crops have failed us and the coffee farms have reduced the pay to $4 a day," he says. "We hope the harvest of maize is good, but until that happens, we only have one quintal of maize left for the entire month. I have to find a way to travel to the North or less my children will continue to suffer, and may be eventually be dead due to starvation."

Central America, to this day, remains to be one of the most dangerous regions in the world. It presents a mix of violence, poverty, and corruption. It is the only region that is outside a warzone yet life is considered difficult. The mixture of issues has forced a number of families to flee their homes and head north in search for security. 

Amidst the global crisis on climate change, famine, drought, and the battle for the dwindling natural resources of the world are increasingly considered as the factors that lead to mass migration to the US. In theory, the dry and wet seasons often fall under a specific time every year. However, due to global warming, these times have changed and it has also affected the intensity of the heat and rain showers. Though susceptible to these environmental changes. Some areas in the world find it even more difficult to make adjustments. 

"Over the past six years, the absence of a substantial rainfall has become our biggest challenge, causing a lot of crops to die and people to suffer from the effects of famine," said Edwin Castellanos, dean of the institute of research from the Universidad del Valle in Guatemala. 

"Normal and predictable weather conditions are becoming rarer these days and it only means one thing. Such types of years are getting rarer."

Whether it is to escape the famine to be in search for new life, the truth remains the same, people choose to migrate to the US in promise of a better life than where they are today. 

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