Voluntary Return Program: A mother and three daughters return to Costa Rica

6 July, 2017


Three girls and their mother, a family of Costa Rican and Nicaraguan origin, were able to return to Costa Rica after living during more than a year in Chile in precarious conditions.

Gloria, of 30 years of age, arrived to Chile with her daughters on the 23rd of March of 2016 with the intention to work and be able to offer her girls a better a future. She worked for some months as a kitchen assistant in Santiago, however after an unfortunate situation with the dad of her daughters, she had to stop working to dedicate her full time to her daughters. Her situation hindered her chances to find a job.

´´We had many problems when they kicked us out of the house. His family and him dropped us at a room infested with cockroaches, that would fall on our food, my daughters could not eat the food anymore´´ said Gloria in her house in San Jose, Costa Rica.
After a series of actions, the Embassy of Costa Rica in Chile contacted IOM in Chile to assist with the case. After recognizing the unstable situation, confirming the applicant’s willingness to voluntarily return, and verifying family willing to receive the applicant and her family in the country of origin, IOM and local authorities initiated the joint return process.

Through the program Humanitarian Assistance to Migrants in Situations of Vulnerability (HASM) and the Fund for Direct Assistance of the Mesoamerica Program, the offices of IOM in Costa Rica and Chile enabled the return of the three girls and their mother to Costa Rica.

During this return process, the involvement and support of the Government of Costa Rica through the Consulate of Costa Rica in Chile and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica was crucial.

The return of Ms. Gloria and her daughters took place on May 26th through a flight to San Jose, Costa Rica, the city in which they will live with Gloria´s mother.