The number of migrants moving through the forest has never been greater — and the profits are too big to pass up

Trek-through-the-jungle More than 2,000 people gather each morning at Las Tecas camp in Colombia, where they begin a trek through the jungle in the hope of making it to the United States.

Ecclesiastes 5:8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still

Important Takeaways:

  • Every step through the jungle, there is money to be made.
  • The boat ride to reach the rainforest: $40. A guide on the treacherous route once you start walking: $170. A porter to carry your backpack over the muddy mountains: $100. A plate of chicken and rice after arduous climbing: $10. Special, all-inclusive packages to make the perilous slog faster and more bearable, with tents, boots and other necessities: $500, or more.
  • Hundreds of thousands of migrants are now pouring through a sliver of jungle known as the Darién Gap, the only land route to the United States from South America
  • But the windfall here at the edge of the continent is simply too big to pass up, and the entrepreneurs behind the migrant gold rush are…politicians, prominent businessmen and elected leaders
  • The crush of migrants willing to risk everything to make it to the United States is “the best thing that could have happened” to a poor town
  • The migration business as the only profitable industry in a place that “didn’t have a defined economy before
  • More than 360,000 people have already crossed the jungle in 2023, according to the Panamanian government, surpassing last year’s almost unthinkable record of nearly 250,000

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