Influx of Venezuelans sorely tests Peru’s economy and labor market

Julia Lorena Campos Noguera, 22, sells water and lemonade in San Juan de Lurigancho. (Photo by Kailey Broussard)

LIMA, Peru – Federal authorities face the daunting task of assessing how Peru’s economy and labor market can absorb the more than 700,000 Venezuelans who have fled their country and resettled here in the past few years.

Adding to the challenge is an estimate by the International Organization for Migration that the number could grow to more than 1.4 million by the end of 2019.

“We understand, and we understood, this is one crisis – a human crisis,” said Roxana del Aguila Tuesta, superintendent of the Ministry of Migration. “We cannot close our eyes, close our ears or close our mouths.”

Peru’s nearly two decades of economic growth – along with lenient immigration requirements that include a temporary residency permit, known as a PTP, that allows refugees to legally work – have made the country the second most popular destination for Venezuelan migrants behind neighboring Colombia. Read more.