Family remittances boosting development

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May 1, 2021

Behind each remittance, there is effort, dedication and dedication of those who, from abroad, seek the progress of their families in their homeland. An example of this is Dany Lopez, a native of Concepción Chiquirichapa, Quetzaltenango, who traveled to the United States when she was 25 (on a temporary worker visa) and settled there.

Now, he is an entrepreneur who in addition to supporting his mother and siblings in his homeland, provides job opportunities locally. There’s also Marvin Osorio, who at age 20 migrated to settle in the state of Florida and sends his parents a fortnightly contribution of $500. With these resources, they improved their housing in Jutiapa and their nephews continued to study.

It is estimated that there are some 2 million nationals abroad, most of them concentrated in the United States of America. According to the Migration and Remittances Report of the Association for Research and Social Studies (ASIES), 98% of family remittances received by Guatemala come from that country.

Investment in housing, the main destination.

The study, focused on San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango and Zacapa, and complemented by data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), showed the uses that families give to these resources. In conclusion, housing is the main destination. Migrants usually send these resources to parents in the first instance, and in smaller quantities to siblings, husbands and children.

The document also reports that, for example, half of the beneficiaries use remittances for the maintenance, improvement and acquisition of their homes. This expenditure is followed by consumption with 30.8% and the rest of the money is invested in savings and investment (not including housing), health and education, among others.

The “housing structure” means a large investment for remittance-receiving households. The results show that households are willing to make this investment by receiving extra money. This indicates that they are not looking to leave the country, but yearn to improve their lifestyle in Guatemala. “If families’ goal were to migrate, they would not spend money on improving housing, but would save it for the travel of the next members,” the report states.

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