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.
Alejandra Rodriguez (R) talks to her sister Natacha Rodriguez (2nd L), while she, her son David Vargas (L) and Adrian Naveda, have a meal with the food they brought from Caracas route to Chile, at a restaurant in Supe Puerto, Peru, November 12, 2017. Most of the migrants were very short of money and unsure how much they would need to settle in their new homes, so they tried to save as much as possible. At rest stops some could afford to buy hot food but others had to continue eating the sandwiches and canned food they brought from Caracas. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS