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.
Natacha Rodriguez (L), traveling by bus from Caracas to Chile, smokes a cigarette as she stands by her son David Vargas and her sister Alejandra Rodriguez while they wait to board the bus at a road services complex in Copiapo, Chile, November 14, 2017. Carlos Garcia Rawlins: "After seven days traveling by bus, getting out for a few minutes to stretch your legs and go to the bathroom, even if you didn't need to, was the best way to break the monotony". CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS