A couple of days ago, the UK’s Guardian published a story about record breaking remittances going to Latin America. The high numbers involved shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who regularly interacts with immigrants. Immigrants, especially those who come alone often work well over full time and live in crowded homes in order to save as much as possible, and in this way help their families back home.

The article mentioned that Latin Americans abroad send as much as £32 billion annually, a number that makes direct foreign investment look pale by comparison. While foreign investment can be beneficial, it often creates investment in urban areas, and therefore limits the amount of people it benefits. In contrast, remittances are sent directly to families, many living in rural areas, and thus helping with vital needs, such as paying for food, education and utilities.

moneyCurrently the groups of Latinos abroad sending the largest amount of money back are Mexicans, followed by Brazilians, and then Colombians.

That emigrants can make such a dent in world finances, working as nannies, migrant workers, and all kinds of other very low wages employments in absolutely admirable.

08.23.07 – Today the BBC has an article about the rise in money transfer shops in the UK. The current growth of these businesses points to the increasing number of immigrants that live there, and the trend of moving abroad to work intensely for a free months or years while trying to make as much money as possible, and then returning to one’s native country and family.

(Image by Marissa; Openphoto.net)