More than 5,000 Venezuelans leave Ecuador, taking advantage of ‘return to the homeland’ program

Dec 8, 2021 | 2 comments

The Venezuelan consulate in Quito reports that 5,300 of its citizens have returned home in 2021 under the “return to the homeland” program. “We are pleased to repatriate our fellow Venezuelans under this government-funded program,” said Pedro Sassone, consulate spokesman.

Venezuelan refugees await a flight home in Quito.

He added that an unknown number of Venezuelans have returned home on their own, without government assistance since 2019. “Thousands of our people have discovered that life is much harder in other countries and their return is part of a growing trend to rejoin their families and previous lives.”

According to Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about 430,000 Venezuelans remain in Ecuador, down from an estimated 500,000 at the end of 2019.

Sassone reported that his government has paid for 59 flights from Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca since January, with the pace of repatriation increasing in October and November. “Our offer to fly our citizens home is entirely voluntary and we are pleased to see more and more accepting our services,” he said.

In total, 27,537 refugees worldwide have taken advantage of “return to the homeland,” more than 26,000 from South American countries, according to Sassone.

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