Jiquilisco, known as one of the Salvadoran municipalities with the highest number of returning migrants, recently took a significant step toward addressing this issue. The United Nations Organization for Migration in El Salvador (IOM) orchestrated the inaugural Opportunities and Prevention of Irregular Migration Fair, also known as the Youth Day, in the town of Jiquilisco, Usulután.
The central aim of the event was to raise awareness about the risks associated with irregular migration, to promote reintegration programs, and to emphasize their significance within the community.
This meaningful endeavor was made possible through financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other governmental institutions.
During the fair, various governmental bodies and organizations provided a range of essential services. These included psychosocial and psychological counseling, migration advisory, information about scholarships, arts and crafts workshops, interactive games, and informational booths.
Argentina Santa Cruz, coordinator of the Comprehensive Responses to Migration in Central America program at IOM, underlined the importance of the initiative by stating, “This is a message for everyone. The idea is to reach all communities and work together with local stakeholders to prevent irregular migration.”
Jiquilisco stands as one of the eight priority municipalities in El Salvador where IOM is actively engaged. This is due to the municipality’s high number of returning migrants.
In addition to the fair, a community cinema session was organized, showcasing an episode of “The Adventures of Paco and Clari,” a production by IOM directed toward educating children and teenagers about the perils of irregular migration.
The successful execution of the Opportunities and Prevention of Irregular Migration Fair represents a positive stride toward curbing irregular migration and fostering community cohesion. As initiatives like these gain traction, there is hope for a brighter future, one where the local population is empowered to make informed choices and contribute to the progress of their communities.