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Ecuador is becoming a final destination for more Venezuelan refugees

Once a transit point for Venezuelan refugees headed to Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, new statistics show that Ecuador is increasingly becoming a final destination.

Venezuelans continue to leave their country in search of better lives.

In January, only six percent of Venezuelans who entered Ecuador at its northern border with Colombia remained in the country, according to the interior ministry. In July, that number increased to 47 percent.

According to officials, there are a number of reasons why more refugees have decided to stay. “A major one is that it became much harder to enter Peru when that government began requiring valid passports and visas in June,” says Daniel Regalado, president of the Venezuelan Civil Association of Ecuador. “These documents are almost impossible to obtain in Venezuela so most refugees cannot cross that border legally.”

Another reason more Venezuelans are staying is that living and employment conditions are no better in other countries. “The economies of Colombia, Peru and Chile are no better than Ecuador’s and refugees are deciding there’s no reason to move on,” Regalado says. “Colombia is overwhelmed with migrants and the situation is not much better in Peru, where the overall level of poverty is much worse than in Ecuador.”

Numbers of Venezuelans entering and leaving Ecuador in 2019. (El Comercio)

José Iván Dávalos, director of the International Organization for Migration, says that another attraction for Venezuelans is that Ecuador is closer to home. “Many of those leaving Venezuela hope to go home one day and if they relocate in Peru or Chile, going back to visit family will be more difficult as will a permanent move back if that becomes an option.”

Although Ecuador has less stringent entry requirement than Peru, President Lenin Moreno worries that the number of refugees could overwhelm the country’s ability to accommodate them. “The United Nations estimates there will have 500,000 Venezuelan migrants by the end of the 2019 and we have to be realistic about our ability to provide for new residents, especially the social services for the children and the elderly. We are monitoring the situation very closely and will respond as necessary.”

39 thoughts on “Ecuador is becoming a final destination for more Venezuelan refugees

  1. All they have to do, is close our borders, like Peru.
    No more Venezuelans please, they’re not welcome here. I never met such arrogant people…and criminals most of them.

        1. Hi Swami, Is this the “whataboutery” thing I learned about in Cuenca? I gather you wish to spread that culture. But statistically speaking, every Latin who moves north lowers the mass murder rate. Is that what you mean? Mexico has a mass murder rate almost 1/2 that of you-know-where.

          Or are you trying to convince me that a mass murder ANYWHERE justifies them EVERYWHERE?

          You and Cuenca Lover should feel yourselves blessed. Most countries, reading your comments here, would turn both of you back at their border and quietly call for exorcists.

          1. Whataboutery is a moronic assertion considering the fact I would have asked the same question on whatever thread you happened to first comment on today. In other words, I ignored your comment, in order to ask my question on a topical news item related to an article from the other day.

            1. I am sorry Swami, I cannot understand your post. Can you clarify or re-phrase? Perhaps someone else can help you.

              I/we here are not permitted to speak to “topical subjects”. CuencaHighLife has to be the only news source on the planet that did not allow a mention (even of regret and sympathy) about the two incidents that the entire world,…from Asia through Europe to the Americas, were prioritizing.

              Is that what you are referring to? Or do you want to speak of only of rising crime in …er…. Mexico City. AFAIK we are encouraged to write of violence anywhere but you-know-where.

          2. I have a lady friend in Lima who had an opportunity to move to Miami with her child and refused. When I asked her why she said ” US schools are very dangerous and her child was much safer in Lima, She was right. Actually your child is safer in Colombia than the US,

      1. you tell him / Men like are the Americans // the world has known since the shame of Trump /// hope its short lived

    1. Wow…I hear the sentiments of a certain supposed leader who is not respected by many, if any, of the other world leaders. I lived and taught in Venezuela for four years and couldn’t disagree more with you. Do you have a personal experience with any Venezuelan of a criminal nature? Making a general sweep of a statement like that is not only untrue, but irresponsible, disrespectful, and bigoted. Have you gone over to volunteer with the Cuenca Sustainable Soup Kitchen yet? That experience will open your eyes and expand (perhaps) your understanding.

    2. Well, at least you are not generalizing and you speak from personal experience with most of the Venezuelans. That is admirable.

    3. I know many Ecuadorians who feel the same way that you do. Gringos who don’t understand Spanish don’t hear how Venezuelans talk about Ecuadorians being uneducated, backwards, and belonging in National Geographic magazines, (I had to laugh when I heard that last one). Most are arrogant because they love the ways of their homeland and they are only in Ecuador until it’s safe to go home. They’re not here for the love of Ecuador. They come with attitudes – kind of like gringos who can’t afford retirement in their own country.
      I wouldn’t call most Venezuelans criminals. Some are. As time goes on, more will turn to crime after they run out of money selling candy and worthless bolivares. Unfortunately, human compassion and soup kitchens will eventually be overwhelmed as other countries close their borders and more Venezuelan refugees try to squeeze into Ecuador.

      1. I’m thinking the social services, soup kitchens and privately funded citizen services like Gary Vastchers, Minka, the Services for Mujeres and Migrant childrens programs are ALREADY over run! This thing is deteriorating fast! An Ecuadorean taxi driver, just last night was heartbroken as he passed a family, in the cold and dark about 10:20pm begging for money.the wind now, makes the cold feel colder.
        Because of a few bad ones, ALL the Venezuelans are suffering! He almost cried, when he said the kids were wearing shorts!

        I KNOW volunteers are wearing out. And PULEEZE… doesn’t have to be fluent in Spanish to “see” and understand what’s going on!
        When opening borders wide….you’d better be prepared to live with the consequences! We ALREADY had our own Ecuadorean citizens issues, before this started!

      2. I agree with your assumption /// most every body that migrates to a country from the country of birth is not doing so for the love of the host country in mast cases /

        so the real issue is how to help the host country with the burden of Refugees //
        As for me I am trying to bring attention of Bill and Malinda gates charitable foundation to assist host countries in South America .// There is no room in ecuador for man like CL // we in cuenca can do without his love //

      3. Can you offer any constructive solutions to this problem with refugees? I am sure they would all prefer to be home in VEnezuela. Don’t hold that against them. They are the victims in this situation.

    4. You are a disgrace for America//// who the hell told you that you were welcome /// I never met one person from Venezuela that I thought was less than warm /// kind // grateful

      you are a TRUMP / lover /// better you get out of ecuador // man // you are a nasty bird

      I just hope there are many like you in this hospitable country with a Heart / We have already seen the carnage in El Paso /// same words as you /// Trump /// they are all Criminals / come on /// get the hell out

      1. With all due respect, I believe that Cuenca Lover is Ecuadorian. He/she is entitled to his/her opinion which trust me, is shared by many other Ecuadorians. Loving and wanting to protect Ecuador has nothing to do with loving Trump. Isn’t it kind of weird to tell Cuenca Lover that she’s a disgrace for America and to get out of her own country?

        1. Hi Lorenzo,
          On the other hand, there are people that aren’t welcome, not even their native land. For example, the type that would prefer to see people/children suffer/die rather than being inconvenienced. Dodd mistook CL for a T-supporter because his rhetoric and bile is unmistakeably similar. See! Color isn’t that important! Both hate and love can cross ethnic, religious and racial lines.

          1. Once you cross religious/political/country boundaries that negatively impact the natives, you’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’. It doesn’t matter how much you hope for a one world government in the future, we’re still in the present. Kumbaya, my friend.

            1. 🙂 I was pointing to ironically point out that hate of any kind is as catchy as any emotion. How long will it be until everyone hates some group? Cuenca Lover, if indeed Ecuadorian, is a prime example. he hates Venezuelans because they are “arrogant” and steal local jobs. American white supremacists hate Latinos because they’re “rapists, murderers” and they steal local jobs. (yawn) I can’t remember why they hate blacks, Jews, Commies, socialists..or whatever.

              Frankly, the reasons given don’t matter…they’re just window dressing. The only aspect of moment is hate. Everyone of us have the potential for it so It is a favorite for politicians to nurture. A few generations of that and it is the prime mover within a culture or a significant part of it. Hate.

        2. Thank you so much Lorenzo, and yes. I’m proudly Ecuadorian, and yes, I am entitled to give my OPINIONS, same as all of you guys. I’ve seen in this Forum many Gringos fighting and treating badly to each other. Why I can’t do the same? I’m always giving my opinions with respect & facts, which most don’t get it.
          And yes, for all of you guys that doesn’t speak Spanish, you won’t ever understand our sentiment. Most of you guys just assume things, but you don’t live here, I DO. Is not just a matter of retiring here, and coming to support people and live in fancy Penthouses, that make you A NICE PERSON; is about understanding the CULTURE, where you’re living. And you’re only get that, when you speak the language. PERIOD.
          And yes, I had terrible experiences with Venezuelans, in fact 2 Venezuelans assaulted me a couple of days ago…and a few weeks ago, a client of mine, was assaulted as well and robbed her cellphone. I also, meet a couple of Venezuelans the other day, through the Soup Kitchen and I offered them a job, because I have a local business; and they both refused it, they told me, they’re not here to work…so, what more examples do you want? That’s fact, because that’s my own experience…
          I also Volunteer at the Soup Kitchen, a Refugee for Venezuelans; and I was robbed there, the last week. I know who is this person, and my partner at the Soup Kitchen also knows, but nobody says anything. I think this should be enough…
          I never intended to hurt anybody’s feelings, because I’m Ecuadorian, but the difference between they & me, is very simple; I AM A HARD WORKER, and I do my best to help others. But, some people doesn’t deserve our help…Just saying:)

          1. Another part of Ecuadorian culture that most gringos don’t get – we can disagree, but with respect for the other person who doesn’t agree. We don’t have to resort to name calling and insults. I’m happy to see that you are not intimidated on this site and I hope that you will continue with your comments.

    5. This is half true with my experience. Criminals? I don’t know yet, maybe from gossip in my Barrio. Arrogant? Yes! Considering as of recently where a heard of them moved in by my house here in Ibarra, they’re very self entitled and are not friendly whatsoever. I lived in Canada for most of my life and I recently moved here and my way of thinking hasn’t changed. If you don’t like where you are, leave. Don’t live in a country and expect that country to adapt to your lifestyle and your ideals. You learn to adapt. You weren’t forced out of Venezuela. You chose to leave. You should’ve stayed there and attempt to change the country with the rest that stayed and are trying to make a difference.

      1. Many Venezuelans try to make a difference. The result? Being killed by the Venezuelan government and its supporters. As an old man or a young man without children and a wife you could still do it, but as a young father? I wouldn’t risk it and would travel with my wife and children to a safer place.

        And let’s not forget women of course. During WWII young women also served in resistance groups. But again: that’s a lot easier if you don’t have children to care for.

        BTW: what about the Jewish people in Europe during WWII? They weren’t forced to leave, but many tried. But yes, your are right, they could try to adopt by hiding themselves. You know about the final months of Anne Frank? We even don’t know the exact location of her remains and that exactly is the case with many brave but unfortunate Venezuelans (and Colombians).

        1. how can you compare Anne Frank and Hitler with a country that freely elected their leader and now 10% or more of the population has fled rather than sticking around and electing a new leader. you get what you vote for …. similar to you get what you pay for. the miitary have extended famiies that are going through a lot of pain with this government. maybe they could convert the ilitary to change allegiance

      2. BRAVO, FINALLY SOMEONE INTELLIGENT, THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT, INSTEAD OF SENTIMENT…which obviously most people have, because they’re condition to think in a certain way, and being in the BOX IS SAFE.
        Good luck with that…

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