Landing on the Shores of Lesvos

 

We spent the last week of our trip on Lesvos, a Greek island that is so far east you'd think it belonged to Turkey. More than 800,000 refugees entered the EU through the Greek isles in 2015 and a large percentage of those people came through Lesvos. 

At its narrowest point, the two countries are separated by only 10 km of sea, making Lesvos a preferred location for many of the refugees who attempt the crossing. The boats that come in are overcrowded with up to 70 people and are often made from cheap materials with knockoff motors and Japanese brand names misleadingly plastered on them. 

On the day we spent at Skala Sikamineas (just one landing point on the island), we witnessed 6 boats arrive. A total of 1,300 refugees were registered; in warmer weather, the daily count has been known to reach up to 9,000.

Watching that first boat come in and make it to shore safely was an emotional experience for our team. But while this leg of the journey may be the most dramatic, in reality, it is only the beginning—as many of the women we spoke with in Athens and Berlin attested to. 

Over the next few weeks we'll continue to release videos, words, and pictures that document the experiences of the many women and families who opened up to us.