Skip to main content


Elderly Cuban woman rescued in the Darien Jungle after being abandoned by her son

The woman's daughter, Yudith Rejas León, shared a video of her mother in which she explained that she had abandoned her after she broke her leg in the middle of the treacherous journey

August 22, 2023 3:15pm

Updated: August 22, 2023 3:22pm

An elderly Cuban woman was rescued on Monday after being abandoned by her son more than a week ago in the Darién jungle as they made their journey from Ecuador to the United States.

Marta León was found by a traveler who shared her location on social media, according to an initial report by activist Daniela Rojo. The unidentified man, however, had to continue on his journey toward Costa Rica and left her there. 

"I went through the jungle, today I am already in Costa Rica. I found this Cuban lady, her son abandoned her. She is one day away from Las Piraguas. We can make the message viral," the traveler wrote in a Facebook group. 

The woman's daughter, Yudith Rejas León, also shared a video of her mother explaining that she had a broken leg and that her son abandoned her in the middle of their journey.

"Abandoned, dying, six days," was all the Cuban woman managed to say in the video.

"Help me, I beg you. If you know anyone who is going through the jungle or is in Panama. Help me to get my mommy back,” her daughter pleaded in the Facebook group. 

Hours later, Rojo updated the post, adding that the elderly Cuban woman had been rescued and was to a camp known as La Piragua.

According to the exiled activist, who is aware of the case, the woman's daughter, a resident of Brazil, is trying to obtain a humanitarian visa to take her mother to the South American country.

Her daughter told ADN Cuba on Tuesday that her mother is hospitalized in a medical post in the Meteti area of Darien. The mother is diabetic and has suffered three heart attacks, she added.

"My request is to be able to bring her with me to Brazil," Rejas León told the newspaper.

The woman’s son allegedly pushed her down a ravine to steal her money. He had also called the family to tell them that she fell and had died, adding that he himself had buried her. 

“What a shock, this has left me shocked,” said a nearby neighbor from Cuba.

In 2021, a group of Cubans rescued a little girl lost in the dangerous Darien Jungle.

A video broadcast by Cubanos por el Mundo, showed how one of the men in the group picks up the minor and carries her in his arms along the treacherous road.

The jungle dividing Colombia and Panama, also known as the Darien Gap, is a route used by thousands of migrants that are trying to reach North America to enjoy a better quality of life.