IOM launches illustrated book "The Tale of the Lion and the Coyote" to educate on risks of irregular migration
San José, Costa Rica. "Talawa" is the name of a Costa Rican reggae band made up of six musicians, who in 2016 were deceived by a "coyote" who promised them money, fame, and success in the United States. Excited by the opportunity, the group decided to make the journey irregularly, as thousands of people around the world do every day, but later they were detained by the US immigration authorities. When they finally managed to return to Costa Rica, the band's goal was to tell their story in order to make others aware of the risks and crimes associated with irregular migration.
"The story of the Talawa band teaches us that all people, regardless of their nationality, sex, age, economic status, and profession, can be victims of smuggling and trafficking networks, even without realizing it," said the National Coordinator of the Regional Migration Program, Isis Orozco.
IOM in Costa Rica works in different areas related to the prevention and combating of these crimes. In 2017, IOM launched the documentary "The Fable of the Lion and the Coyote". In 2018, IOM appointed the band as goodwill ambassador for regular migration and recently adapted its story into an illustrated story for children. Recently, the book was launched, as part of the anniversary of the Migrant Information Hub of the Municipality of Desamparados, with the participation of 250 children and their families.
Educating about migration and raising awareness about the risks associated with irregular migration is becoming increasingly vital. "Pedagogical and creative tools, such as this illustrated book, are valuable to ensure inclusion of this topic in different spaces of formal and informal education," said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of the Program.
The book is a joint effort between the IOM Regional Migration Program (Mesoamerica Program) funded by the U.S. Department of State, the National Coalition Against the Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons, and the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens of Costa Rica.
The illustrated book is available for download in English and Spanish in IOM's regional repository of communication materials, the “Educational Toolkit”.