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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.
Carlos Rivero (C), who travelled by bus from Venezuela to Chile, looks at the display of products in the counter of a shop in Santiago, Chile, November 18, 2017. Due to the Venezuelan economic crisis the variety and availability of basic products has dramatically reduced in recent years. For the newly arrived migrants to see the variety of cheeses and sausages available in a butcher's shop, or walk along the aisles of a fully stocked supermarket to make their first purchases, could be an overwhelming experience. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS