Manuel Orozco, a senior associate at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington and an expert on remittances, said remittances, the money foreign workers send home, are up in the US: somewhere around an 8 percent increase from 2010 to 2011. It was estimated about $68 billion, a similar amount to 2007, was sent to Latin America in 2011.
Colombians alone sent 5.1 percent more remittances in 2011 than in 2010.
The US recession had previously decreased remittances. Higher remittances means US businesses are relying more on foreign labor, and thus households in Latin America have more money to spend! The money is used for daily expenses, education, a small business, savings, or property.
Most of the recipients of remittances tend to be women. Most of the remittances to Colombia come from the US and Spain.