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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, Alejandra Rodriguez and her nephew David Vargas (R-L), traveling by bus from Caracas to Chile, smile after crossing the border between Peru and Chile at the migration office in Arica, Chile, November 13, 2017. Getting to Chile was the goal, but everyone was a little worried, because they knew this was the border where the authorities could ask them tricky questions. As they walked out of the migration office in Arica, happiness and a mood of "We made it!" took over, even though they still had two more days on the road ahead of them. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS