Friday, February 03, 2012


IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau



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Envía Centro America" allows migrants from Central américa to compare the many choices that the market offers them to send money to their families in the home countries. This website gives users the possibility to compare the cost and the speed of the transfer offer by most of the service providers active in the market. Information on where in the receiving country money can be picked up is also displayed. "Envía Centro America" covers flows from five main sending areas in the United States of America to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Data are also collected for two of the most relevant intra-regional corridor, and from Costa Rica to Nicaragua.



Press Release 2 February 2012

Free Online Tool Empowers Senders of Remittances

CEMLA, MIF/IDB and World Bank Launch To Make Costs and Conditions of Remittances More Transparent [2 February 2012],,contentMDK:23106029~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

Washington, February 2, 2012 - The Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank today launched, a free online tool to compare and make transparent the costs of remittances from the United States to six Central American countries and the Dominican Republic.


The website provides detailed and updated monthly information on how much it costs to send money from the U.S. to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Costs are calculated based on amounts of US$200 and US$500.


"This initiative will help the Hispanic community to better understand the costs and options available before deciding how and with whom to send their money," said Paloma Monroy, remittance specialist with CEMLA, the agency implementing this initiative with joint support from MIF and the World Bank. "This tool will create more transparency in this market, contributing to reduced costs." provides information on the costs that different operators charge in five major remittance-sending hubs in the United States (California, Florida, New York, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts) to Central America and the Dominican Republic as well as on the costs to wire money from Costa Rica to Nicaragua.


"Remittances are a vital source of income for millions of working families in Central America and the Dominican Republic," said Massimo Cirasino, who heads the Financial Infrastructure Division of the World Bank. "In that sense, the sponsors of this site seek to provide useful information that will benefit those most in need."

Only in the last quarter of 2011, an estimated US$200 million or more were spent by immigrants from six Central American countries and the Dominican Republic to cover the costs of remittances to their families from the United States.


"By increasing market transparency, providing more information on remittance prices, migrants can have a better sense of the options within their reach, and they can choose the service that best fits their needs," said Natasha Bajuk, MIF’s remittances specialist.


An analysis of data from the last quarter of 2011 shows that:

  • Immigrants from Central America and the Dominican Republic paid on average US$12 for every US$200 remitted.
  • A one percentage point reduction in the cost of sending remittances will save migrants and their families an additional US$150 million a year.
  • The average price of sending remittances from the U.S. to Central America and the Dominican Republic fell slightly over the last three months of 2011, from 5.9 percent in October to 5.7 percent in December.
  • In December, the most expensive services were to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, with an average cost of US$14.60 (7.3%) and US$13.60 (6.8%), respectively. The cheapest were to El Salvador, with an average cost of US$9.40 (4.7%), followed by Honduras and Nicaragua, both with average cost of US$9.60 (4.8%).
  • In December 2011, the highest cost to wire US$200 was from Miami and New York to the Dominican Republic, with an average cost of US$15.60 (7.8%). The cheapest was from New York to El Salvador and Honduras, and Los Angeles to El Salvador and Nicaragua, with an average cost of US$9.20 (4.6%).
  • In general, it is cheaper for the remitter to send money into a recipient’s account (US$9) than as cash (US$11). However, the volume of wires through commercial banks is still small compared to money sent through remittance companies.
  • Many remittance service providers offer to send money from the U.S. to Central America through debit and credit cards with payment in cash or by deposit into an account. However, the cost of remittance by credit or debit card, and paid in cash, is significantly higher than for the other methods of sending remittances. 


Inter-American Development Bank: Romina Nicaretta, +1 202 623 1555,

World Bank: Marcela Sánchez-Bender, +1 202 473 5863,







This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.


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