Forced Migration, Integration, and Solidarity. Experiences of Nicaraguan "Autoconvocado" women in Costa Rica during COVID-19

Author Name

Fiore Bran Aragon


Forced Migration, Women, COVID-19 Costa Rica


My work analyses the socio-economic and cultural integration of Nicaraguan forced migrant women in Costa Rica in the context of COVID- 19. I particularly seek to understand how integration processes are shaped by government policies, public discourse, and xenophobic practices. In this context of social polarization, some groups of forced migrants, whom I call ‘autoconvocados’ (self- organized) have used their previous experiences as community organizers to create self-organized initiatives for integration, focusing on integration among newcomers, and between migrants and locals. These initiatives have developed ‘solidarity practices’ that focus on human rights and the contributions of migrants to their host communities, thereby creating spaces for exchange and ‘interdependence’ between migrants, locals, and institutions.

Like thousands of other ‘autoconvocados’ who participated in the civil uprising of 2018, I left Nicaragua at the end of that year to survive and continue working for human rights. Most members of this movement were youth and other citizens who peacefully protested unjust policies and the repression of Daniel Ortega´s government. Like many others fleeing Ortega´s dictatorship, the first country I arrived in was Costa Rica. In San José, I had the opportunity to meet some of the migrants I interviewed for this article. I continued my migratory journey to the north, but they stayed in Costa Rica for strategic, economic, or family reasons. Since 2018, many ‘autoconvocados’ forced migrants have continued working as political activists in exile, and some have also created initiatives for socio-economic and cultural integration to support newcomers. My presentation reflects on data collected in semi-structured interviews with forced migrants that founded three initiatives: the Agricultural Camp of the Nicaraguan Peasant Movement, the feminist collective Volcánicas, and the Nicaraguan LGBTIQ + roundtable. I also interviewed academics, government officials, and journalists who are experts on Nicaraguan forced migration.



4th International E-Conference “Migration, Governance, and Covid-19: Perspectives, Policies, Opportunities, and Challenges”
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