MagazineMar 8, 2018
Poorer by the day, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have concluded that escape is their only option. With the country's currency virtually worthless and air travel beyond the reach of all but elites, buses have become Venezuela's caravans of misery, rolling day and night to its borders and returning largely empty to begin the process all over again. For nine days, a reporter and a photographer from Reuters accompanied the migrants as they headed for what they hoped were better days in Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
For nearly 5,000 miles, they rolled through some of South America's most spectacular landscapes, including the vertiginous Andean mountain range and the world's driest desert in Chile. But even though the Venezuelans were awed by the views whizzing by their window, their minds were mostly on the land they had left behind - and the uncertainty facing them in the lands ahead.
People traveling by bus from Caracas to Ecuador wait in line to stamp their passports at the migration control office in San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, November 8, 2017. After more than twelve hours traveling, crossing into Colombia was for many on the bus the first time they had left Venezuela. When they arrived at the migration office, it was temporarily closed because the computers were down. Travelers had to wait in line about three hours to get their documents stamped. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS