Classroom Resource: Climate change is the overlooked driver of Central American migration

In February 2019, Public Radio International CNN’s John Sutter traveled to rural Honduras to investigate the relationship between climate change and Central American migration to the United States.

Sutter notes:

“Migration stories are always complex. It’s not untrue that violence is driving people out; it’s not untrue that poverty is driving people out. But it is also true that climate change and severe drought are causing people to move from Central America, and from other [regions]. And I think that we have to look at that in a clear-eyed way and think about what that means.”

Listen to the story below:

Reflection Questions

  1. What does Sutter see as the relationship between the climate and migration?
  2. Why is it important to know why people migrate? If people know the reasons people leave their home, how might it change the way they respond?
  3. How might our responses to environmental migration be different than for people who migrate due to war, violence, or economic instability?
  4. What is our ethical responsibility to find a home for people who are fleeing their homes because of climate change?