Remittances to Latin America rebound
Washington, May 8 (IANS/EFE) Remittances of emigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean increased last year beyond their levels before the financial crisis to $69.29 billion, according to an Inter-American Dialogue report.
Mexico, which represents a third of the total regional remittances, remains in first place with $22.73 billion, followed by Guatemala with $4.37 billion and Colombia with $4.17 billion.
By percentages, the largest increases were registered in the Central American countries, with remittances from Nicaragua rising 22 percent to $1.05 billion and from Honduras rising 12 percent to $2.86 billion.
The new figures confirm the recovery in remittances after the decline experienced in 2008 and 2009, when remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to $62 billion, dragged down by the impact of the economic crisis, especially in the US.
With regard to the economic recovery in the US, the report acknowledges its influence in the increase in remittances, but it said the slight decline in unemployment was not enough to account for all of the increase in the amount of money wired home by emigrants.
Inter-American Dialogue researcher Manuel Orozco explains this situation not only as the result of the modernization of systems for sending cash and the new flows, but also with the fact that "now fewer people are sending money, but each one is sending more".
According to the study, the monthly average sent by Latin Americans in the US to their countries of origin was $255, a figure that has not been attained since 2007, compared to $215 per person in 2009 and 2010.
Finally, investigators with the Inter-American Dialogue emphasize another new element to keep in mind: the increase in the emigration of women with greater education, a demographic group that tends to sent a greater volume of remittances than other groups.
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