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Guatemala received $15 billion in remittances

The number of remittances received set a new record

January 24, 2022 8:03pm

Updated: January 24, 2022 8:03pm

Guatemala received a record amount of remittances in 2021, reaching $15 billion. Experts believe the increase is due to the lack of action by Guatemalan authorities to stop migration because it contributes to the Guatemalan economy, The Guardian reported

In a press conference, the President of the Bank of Guatemala, Sergio Recinos, said that last year Guatemala received $15,295,000 in money sent from abroad. In December alone, Guatemalans living abroad sent $1.5 billion back to their loved ones back in their home country, 29.9 percent more than December 2020. 

The number of remittances recorded during 2021 exceeds the nation's total budget, according to the local newspaper Republica. With the $15 billion, Guatemala received 118 billion quetzales more than the 100 billion quetzales of the previous year's income and expenditure plan.

In 2021, Guatemalans received 34 percent more in remittances than the record breaking $11 billion received in 2020. Experts believe that Guatemala will receive around 16 billion in 2022, breaking yet another year-to-year record. 

But any people in Guatemala depend on the money that family members send from abroad and, for many, remittances are their only means of survival. 

According to estimates by various organizations, family remittances from abroad support about 37 percent of Guatemala's 16.3 million inhabitants.

“It is an indicator of the grand exodus from the country to the United States that has existed in the last 20 years,” added lawyer and migration expert Pedro Pablo Solares.

Every year, around 300,000 Guatemalans attempt to go to the United States to search for better opportunities and escape the poverty and violence that plagues the country. 

Around three million Guatemalans live in the United States, according to the Ministry of Foreign Relations.