As Mexico Improves, Central America Struggles

By Jerry Kammer, January 31, 2013

Mexico's improving economic situation has received a great deal of press recently, raising hopes that fewer Mexicans will feel compelled to cross the U.S. border illegally.

Meanwhile, deteriorating economic and social conditions in much of Central America have received little attention in the English-language press.

But two stories this week on the nightly Univision newscast have shed light on conditions in Honduras and El Salvador. On Monday came the report of growing unrest in Honduras due to an economic crisis in which the government is unable to pay soldiers, police, and teachers. "Thousands of families have survived thanks to the remittances that their relatives send from the United States", said reporter Mayra Navarro.

On Tuesday, Salvador Castellanos reported from San Salvador that remittances are sustaining local economies. Explaining the dimensions of the ongoing exodus, he said, "Two million Salvadorans, who represent a third of this country's population, live in the United States. The great majority of them are undocumented, about 200,000 are protected by TPS [Temporary Protected Status], and some are there legally."