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.
Karelys Betancourt, traveling by bus from Caracas to Chile, drinks a cup of tea while she recovers from motion sickness in Ocona, Peru, November 13, 2017. At this stage of the trip the group of Venezuelan migrants were traveling on the top floor of the bus, because it was cheaper, but the motion was stronger. When Karelys started to get sick, the bus hostess gave her tea without sugar and recommended that she should go and sit on the stairs in front of the bathroom to recover. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS