Manuel Rueda is a freelance journalist based in Bogota, Colombia where he has been living for the past five years. Manuel has covered the peace deal between Colombia's government and the FARC rebels, Venezuela's political crisis and how Colombia is adapting to the arrival of more than one million Venezuelan migrants. He is a dual citizen of Colombia and Venezuela and always ready to travel. Last year he also produced stories in Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil.
To supplement their meager wages, many government workers in Venezuela are turning to side hustles that include driving taxis, baking cakes, selling clothes or taking care of pets. And that’s having an impact on the quality of public services.
In Colombia's capital city Bogotá, pedestrians need to watch out for loose slabs of pavement they can trip over, or wobbly tiles that get their feet wet or splash dirty water on their pants. But some activists have started trying to shame the city into making repairs more quickly by covering the broken spots with pink paint and black Xs.
A six-month ceasefire between the Colombian government and the rebel group known as the National Liberation Army began this month. Support for the truce, and ongoing peace talks, could depend on whether the group ceases attacks on civilians that include kidnappings and extortion.
Some startups throughout the Americas are establishing loans geared towards migrants. Among them is Galgo, which helps migrants buy motorbikes in order to earn money with delivery apps like Uber Eats.
Colombia’s president awarded medals to members of the search party that found the four Indigenous children in one of the world’s toughest terrains.
In El Salvador, thousands of people have been imprisoned over the past 15 months, including dozens of international visitors, as the government tries to stop gang violence through a law known as the “state of exception.”
Migrants from many countries were previously able to cross the US border on foot and turn themselves in to officials to begin asylum proceedings. But since May 12, it's become much harder, and those turned down are banned from re-entering the US for the next five years. Many are now trying to secure appointments through a US government app, but spaces are limited.
The people who collect garbage for recycling organized among themselves to change how they are paid and how they are treated. Today, waste pickers are officially recognized as part of the municipal waste system.
The US government changed the rules governing how people can seek asylum at the US-Mexico border last week, as a pandemic-era policy called Title 42 expired. Although it may become more difficult, thousands of people are still making their way from South America to the US border, including migrants from all over the world. Some are making their way through the Darien Gap, a dangerous jungle that separates Colombia and Panama.
In the small village of Capurgana, at the entrance to the Darién jungle and near Colombia’s border with Panama, hundreds of villagers now work as guides and porters leading migrants across the rainforest.
In Capurgana, a small town on the southern edge of the Darién Gap in Colombia, about 300 people are arriving each day to make the grueling trek across the jungle, which lasts three to four days.