From the Darien Jungle to Boston and the surrounding area: perspectives on food insecurity of migrants

Thursday, February 22, 2024 


From the Darien Jungle to Boston and the surrounding area: perspectives on food insecurity of migrants

Speaker: Marianella Herrera-Cuenca MD, MSc, PhD

Date: Thursday February 22, 2024

Time: 6:30 PM EST

Format: Zoom. Webinar links will be emailed to registered attendees prior to the event.

Credits: 1 CEU


Session Summary: Global poly-crisis is currently on the rise, and one of the drivers for making the decision of starting a long migratory journey continues to be the inability to feed oneself and family. People risk their lives going through dangerous routes in order to pursue better opportunities. The Darien Jungle is a path for many multi-national migrants on their way to the United States. Many migrants, particularly Venezuelans, eventually arrive in Massachusetts. Dr Herrera will discuss data from a non-governmental organization outlining migrants’ journeys, food system, and conditions upon arrival to the US.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Herrera is a Professor and Researcher in Public Health, wellness for life and International Nutrition, at Framingham State University, Simmons University and the Central University of Venezuela. As a researcher, faculty, and consultant for many organizations she has been the principal investigator of several research projects and has been involved in grant writing. She has experience managing the cooperation of international agencies. She has been involved in research on food security and the first 1000 days in emergency situations. She has implemented nutrition education initiatives outlining the process of cooking in times of emergency, and has developed strategies for sustainable kitchens in low-income communities. 

Dr. Herrera is a current member of the Nutrition cluster of the Humanitarian actions in Venezuela (OCHA-UNICEF) and a consultant for the World Food Program. She continues to be a leader in cooperation with international and national organizations, and has published more than one hundred peer reviewed articles and several book chapters. She is a correspondent member of the Venezuelan National Academy of Medicine and a correspondent member of the Venezuelan Society of Puericulture and Paediatrics. In 2022 she was recognized with the Trinko Service Award by LAHIDAN-MIG of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Learning Objectives:

  1. After the session the attendee will be able to describe the role of food insecurity as an underlying cause for migratory movements, as well as the risk this insecurity poses for migrant health.
  2. The attendee will be able to identify the food availability across the migratory route from South to North America as well as the exposure to risks such as human trafficking, disease, and undernutrition
  3. The attendee will be able to critically discuss the complexity of migration and food security as a pillar of the decision to migrate.

Performance Indicators: 8.3.6 Keeps abreast of current nutrition and dietetics knowledge and trends. 

Registration Fees

Early bird registration (by end of day 2/2): $15 for MAND members; $25 for NON MAND members

Standard registration (between 2/3 and 2/22): $20 for MAND members; $30 for NON MAND members

Contact Information
Robert Dunn
Public Policy

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