Emigrants remitted $61.25 billion to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013, just about the same amount they had sent home the previous year but below the figure before the 2008 financial crisis, according to a report released on Tuesday.
Remittances showed a slight rise in 2011, but they have stagnated since then, the Multilateral Investment Fund, part of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, said.
Last year’s total reflects increases in growth rates for remittances to Central America and the Caribbean that are offset by the negative growth rate for Mexico and the countries of South America, according to the report.
In 2008, remittances to countries in the region reached a record level of $64.9 billion.
The United States is the source of approximately 75 percent of the remittances received by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
An estimated 21 million Latin American and Caribbean immigrants are in the United States, more than half of them from Mexico.
In the years before the financial crisis broke, the remittances sent to the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean were growing at an average annual rate of 17 percent, the MIF said.
In 2009, however, there was a decrease of more than 10 percent.
Mexico, with $21.58 billion, is the country receiving the most remittances from abroad, followed by Guatemala, $5.1 billion; El Salvador, $3.97 billion; the Dominican Republic, $3.33 billion; and Ecuador, $2.45 billion.
The Central American countries, which were the first to show signs of recovery in remittance flows after the financial crisis, continue to experience higher growth rates than the other regions.