• Bolivia under water
As described by an article in the Christian Science Monitor, Bolivia is suffering from weeks of heavy rains that have caused rivers to swell, homes to flood, and crops to rot.
More than 58,000 families have been affected in the past month, and 56 people are reported dead, but limited reporting from isolated communities could mean that these numbers are significantly higher.
The article quotes Matthew Schwartz, a doctoral student at the University of New Mexico, who works with the Tsimane, an indigenous group:
“As dire as the situation is for campesino and Tsimane communities close to San Borja, it’s really bleak for the further-out communities.”
Members of the University of New Mexico’s research team are currently at work in flood-affected areas, helping to deliver supplies and provide other support.
• Youthful trend in illegal U.S. border crossing
The Los Angeles Times reported on a rising trend of lone teenagers and even children crossing the border from Mexico to the U.S. While the overall number of undocumented immigrants has slowed compared to five years ago, a new surge of immigration includes children and teenagers traveling through the rugged area into south Texas.
Up to 120 unaccompanied youths are arriving each day, a number that has tripled over the last five years. The young immigrants tell harrowing stories of being abused before and during their journeys, according to Susan Terrio, cultural anthropology professor at Georgetown University who interviewed 40 youths:
“They witnessed or survived robberies and fell victim to brutal attacks and sexual assaults. They outran or hid from federal police and border patrol agents. They struggled with hunger, illness, and exposure to the elements and saw fellow migrants lose limbs or die while jumping on or off cargo trains.”