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.
Josmer Rivas, 7, traveling by bus from Caracas to Guayaquil with his mother, embraces his father upon arrival at the bus station in Guayaquil, Ecuador, November 10, 2017. Carlos Garcia Rawlins: "Josmer's mother, Genesis Corro, told me that her husband would be waiting for them at the Guayaquil bus terminal and that her son was very excited to see his father, who moved there from Venezuela four months ago. As soon as we arrived, I hurriedly got off the bus so I could witness their reunion. Josmer ran out and jumped into his arms, happiness was overflowing from his eyes, undoubtedly one of the most emotional moments during the journey". CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS