Magazine

Mar 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.

Journey on a caravan of misery
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Natacha Rodriguez (C), traveling by bus from Caracas to Chile, talks with fellow travelers while they wait to board at the bus station in Tumbes, Peru, November 11, 2017. In Tumbes, the first stop after crossing from Ecuador to Peru, passengers had to transport their luggage by three-wheel moto taxis from the arrival point to another bus station, as each company has its own terminal. When they got there, they realized that the only way to buy the tickets to continue the journey was with Peruvian soles. So they talked and agreed that one group would go to an exchange house several blocks away, carrying everyone's cash, while others waited and took care of the luggage. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS

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