NECOCLÍ, Colombia — This town’s Caribbean beaches used to fill up with tourists but there’s no longer room. Instead, thousands of Haitian migrants who can’t afford the hotels have pitched tents on just about every patch of sand.
Nearly 20,000 Haitians, who are on their way to the United States, are now holed up in Necoclí, forming a human bottleneck even bigger than the recent migrant logjams on the U.S.-Mexican border.
Bruno Noel got to Necoclí two weeks ago with his wife and 6-month-old son and notes his many compatriots speaking Haitian Creole on the boardwalk. “This is like a smaller version of Haiti,” he quips.
Lacking visas, Noel and other Haitians are taking a roundabout, overland route to get to the U.S. Many moved to Brazil, Chile and other South American nations following Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake. But now that countries in the region have eased pandemic travel restrictions, throngs of Haitians are heading north. Many believe they will have a better chance to get into the U.S. — and to stay there — now that Donald Trump has been replaced in the White House by President Biden.
“Donald Trump lost the election so I’m giving it a try,” says Noel, 34, who spent the last five years in Brazil working in a hotel laundry room. see the ful article