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.
Adrian Naveda (C) talks on the phone, as he stands next to his girlfriend Glenys Reyes, before he travels by bus to Chile, at their home in Caracas, Venezuela, November 2, 2017. The night before the bus was due to leave, Naveda received several calls from friends to invite him for a drink and farewell party, but he preferred to stay at home with his girlfriend. The atmosphere was melancholic. In the end the bus did not leave the next day, because the road was blocked by protests in Colombia. He had to wait four more days to start his journey to Chile. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS