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.
Madelein Rosal cries while she talks on the phone before boarding a bus to travel from Caracas to Guayaquil, at the Rutas de America's bus station in Caracas, Venezuela, November 7, 2017. Rosal, 28, a hotel worker, decided to emigrate after the ruling Socialist Party won the October 2017 gubernatorial elections, leaving the opposition in disarray. "I'm leaving heartbroken" said Rosal, who entrusted her 8-year-old son to the care of her mother. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS