✅ For your safe transit, keep in mind that Migración Colombia is the only authority that can issue regulatory documents, deport or expel migrants. Inform yourself about the routes, transports, shelters and consulates in your country before leaving.
✅ For safety reasons, always walk in a group. The journey through the jungle is difficult, you should be prepared for a high physical demand with difficult or inaccessible roads. The journey can take between 5 and 10 days walking. If you are lost or can no longer walk, prepare a campfire that makes a lot of smoke to attract the attention of the rescue teams. Make it in a hollow with stones around it to avoid fires.
✅ Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing to prevent animal bites or stings. If an animal stings or bites you, do not move the injured part, apply clean water. Do not suck or cut the affected area, you could increase the risk of infection.
✅ Carry food that is not bulky, sufficient for the route, non-perishable and easy to prepare. Drink small amounts of water and/or saline solution several times. If possible, carry water purification tablets or straws with filter to drink water in better condition.
✅ Use light and comfortable luggage, carry only what is necessary.
✅ If you have a chronic illness, take your medicines and learn their names. If you have had symptoms of flu, fever (fever), weakness or pain in the bones or joints, see a doctor, it could be dengue, malaria or Chikungunya, are diseases present in this region.
✅ Look for a safe place to spend the night. Avoid staying on the banks of rivers, there may be floods. If you are going to travel by boat, always ask for a life jacket.
✅ Digitalize your documents so that you have a copy in case you lose them. Keep them in a safe place and keep them in a moisture-resistant bag. Leave your family an official document with your photograph and/or fingerprint or a recent photograph. As well as copies of your important documents.
✅ Inform your relatives about your whereabouts and your destination. Especially before and after crossing the border. At the Red Cross shelters they can help you communicate with them free of charge. If you have lost contact with your family, contact us and we will help you. Memorize your family’s email and phone number.
✅ If someone traveling with you dies, disappears, suffers an accident or is detained, inform the authorities, the Red Cross and, if possible, their relatives.
GENERAL SELF-CARE MESSAGES
✅ Inform yourself about routes, transportation, shelters and consulates in your country before leaving. Share your travel plan with your family members beforehand.
✅ During your trip, inform your relatives who you are traveling with and where you are. In case of an emergency, it will facilitate your search.
✅ Do not give information about your trip or your family to strangers, and do not tell them if you have family or friends in the United States.
✅ Traveling in a group is safer,
✅ Cover yourself from the sun, you could suffer severe burns or dehydration.
✅ Look for a safe place to spend the night; do not stay in the street.
✅ If you are in Mexico and wish to return to your country, call or go to the nearest National Migration Institute (INM for its acronym in Spanish) / Grupo Beta.
✅ Stay calm if you are detained by the authorities.
Keep in touch with your relatives
✅ Memorize the telephone numbers of your family and friends, as well as the codes to call your place of origin.
✅ Agree with your family on how often you will communicate during the route, as well as what to do if you lose contact.
✅ Avoid using strangers’ phones and having them dial the number. If you can, erase the records of the cell phone or landline you used.
✅ If you know of a person who is detained, disappears, suffers an accident or dies, inform the Red Cross and their family, do not let them live with the anguish of not knowing what happened.
✅ Keep in touch with your family and friends, especially before crossing a border. There are shelters and Red Cross points that offer free calls.
✅ It is advisable to have a Facebook page (or other social network) to inform your relatives where you are.
✅ Inform your family and friends when you arrive at your destination,
✅ Leave your family an official document with your photograph and/or fingerprint or a recent photograph, as well as copies of your important documents.
Take care of your health
✅ If you use contraceptives, don’t forget to take them with you. If necessary, you will be given them for free in some clinics or medical brigades of the Red Cross.
✅When resting, take off your shoes and socks (bring an extra pair) to avoid fungus and infections. Do not wear them if they are wet; they can cause blisters.
✅ If you have a chronic illness, take your medicines with you and learn the names.
✅ If you are pregnant, be sure to drink water, eat and seek medical attention.
✅ In hospitals or health centers in Mexico, you have the right to be informed about your state of health and to request your medical file (report).
✅ If you are detained, inform the authorities of your condition and the medicine you need.
✅ If you have had symptoms of flu, fever (fever), weakness or pain in the bones or joints, go to a doctor, it could be dengue, malaria or Chikungunya, are diseases present in this region.
✅ In Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica you are entitled to free emergency medical care. If you do not receive it, there are organizations that can help you. Ask about them.
✅ In Mexico, you can temporarily affiliate for 90 days to Seguro Popular to receive free medical care, without having to present any documentation.
✅ Cases of sexual violence are medical emergencies and require immediate attention.
✅ Make sure to drink water constantly.
✅ Avoid drinking stagnant or tap water. You can find water purification tablets in some Red Cross points of attention.
In case of traveling by train or vehicle
✅ Avoid getting on or off the train when it is running or wet. In case you get off the moving train, do not stand still, keep running so that others do not fall on top of you.
✅ Do not tie clothes around your waist, you may get caught and suffer an accident.
✅ Avoid getting on the train if you have not eaten or rested, you could fall off if you get sleepy. Take turns with your fellow passengers to rest and take care of yourself.
✅ Do not consume alcohol or drugs, or take relaxing or anti-flu medications that make you sleepy.
✅ On very cold days, the steel of the train freezes: protect your hands with gloves or a cloth. -It is best to travel sitting down. Pay attention on the road, there are branches, electric cables or tunnels that can hit you. Get settled where you have points of support.
✅ Avoid getting on the train with children.
✅ Do not hide in vehicles or in confined spaces where you could suffocate, drown or get sick. Always try to have room to breathe.
✅ Do not accept free transportation from strangers.
In case of walking in the forest, jungle or desert
✅ If you are lost or can no longer walk, prepare a smoky campfire to attract the attention of rescue teams. Make it in a hollow with stones around it to avoid fires.
✅ Remember that in places with hot climates, both tropical and desert, you can find a great variety of poisonous animals such as scorpions, spiders and snakes, among others.
✅ Scorpion stings and snake bites can be deadly. Check and shake clothes, shoes and mats before using them. Do not put your hands under rocks. Check the place before sleeping or sitting on the ground.
✅ If an animal stings or bites you, seek medical assistance. Avoid moving the injured part and rinse the wound with clean water. Do not suck or cut the affected area; it causes more damage and increases the risk of infection.
✅ Turn off your cell phone to conserve the battery. Make only necessary calls and keep it in a plastic bag.
✅ Avoid crossing rivers or the sea alone or at night. If you use an object to float, make sure it can support your weight.
✅ Put your documents in a plastic bag to prevent them from getting wet or lost.
✅ In the desert during the day, temperatures are extreme. Try to bring plenty of drinking water, pants and long sleeves to protect you from the sun and to keep the humidity of your sweat. Also bring warm clothes, gloves to protect your hands, a flashlight and matches.
Know your rights
✅ Before signing any document, ask to be informed, in a language understandable to you, of: your rights and obligations, requirements for your admission, stay and departure in the territory, the possibility of requesting the recognition of refugee status, the granting of complementary protection or asylum and the determination of statelessness, as well as the respective procedures to obtain such conditions.
✅ In Mexico, any authority that has knowledge of your intention to request the recognition of refugee status must immediately notify in writing to the Ministry of the Interior.
✅ The only authority that can ask you to prove your nationality and immigration status in Mexico is the National Immigration Institute (INM for its acronym in Spanish). No other authority can demand to check your documents or detain you if the INM is not present.
✅ The INM cannot use force during immigration operations.
✅ If you are detained by an immigration authority and you are traveling with your family, you must remain together even in detention.