crossing the darien gap

With mountains, intense mud, fast-running rivers and thick rainforest, the Darién Gap, a stretch of land between South and Central America, is among the most forbidding terrains in the world.

Over the past few years, however, the number of attempted crossings has skyrocketed. From 2010 to 2020, an average of 11,000 migrants made the journey each year. In 2022, almost 250,000 made the trip.

What is pushing them to risk crossing the Darién Gap, and what happens along the way?

Julie Turkewitz, the Andes bureau chief for The New York Times.

For decades, the Darién was considered so perilous that only a few thousand dared to cross it each year. Today, it is a traffic jam.
Federico Rios for The New York Times

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Julie Turkewitz contributed reporting.
Fact-checked by Susan Lee.
Special thanks to Eileen Sullivan.

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