Venezuelans cross into Colombia as crisis deepens

As the political and economic crisis continues to extend, Venezuelans daily are crossing the Simon Bolivar International Bridge into Colombia for health and economic reasons. Venezuela is currently experiencing a shortage of medicine and primary goods, which has created an inflation of prices and many are unable to buy the things they need. Hospitals are also struggling to treat patients. 25,000 Venezuelans are crossing into Columbia daily, many being parents taking their children to get vaccinated at Colombian hospitals. Others are bringing elderly family members to treat them for illnesses. Some are crossing into Colombia, traveling with empty suitcases, bringing back food bought in Colombia because it is more affordable than it would be in Venezuela. Many feel very embarrassed that they have to go to such great lengths in order to survive. Work has also been hard for people to find, causing many to travel to Colombia for jobs. Two women, in particular, were traveling two hours every day to set up fruit stands in Colombia.

Shelters have been set up in Colombia for Venezuelans to stay. Many of the people that once fled Colombia because of violence and warfare are now traveling back. Those seeking a new life in Colombia often find themselves with very little money after finding their Venezuelan bolivares to be of very little value once converted to Colombian pesos. This is due to the triple rate inflation in Venezuela. Even though work in Cúcuta, Colombia is often hard to find for Venezuelans, they still believe life is better there than in Venezuela.


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