Some 1,300 Cuban migrants are stranded in Paso Canoas. They are trying to get to the United States where they will qualify for refugee status. The flight to Mexico was arranged by a humanitarian agreement signed between President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama and President Enrique Peña Prieto of Mexico.
"This is the glory, this is our freedom and a means to the end of our pain," said Julio Cuestas Ruedas, who was waiting to buy a ticket. "We hope to reach the United States to enjoy the freedom that we don't have in cuba."
The ticket costs $526, a price that the migrants say is well worth it.
"We are very happy and grateful for the people who love freedom," said Wilmer Rojas, another Cuban waiting to buy the ticket.
There will be three or four flights that will leave later this month.
"We do not have a date, but this is a very big step, for which we thank the governments of Juan Carlos Varela and Mexico," said Cuban Bleixen Martínez Martínez.
According to Immigration official David Rios, the migrants have to pay for the tickets themselves. To get on the flight, they must meet all health and immigration requirements.