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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.
Alejandra Rodriguez, who travelled by bus from Venezuela to Chile, uses her cellphone to speak with her boyfriend who lives in Venezuela, as she sits at a bench of a shopping mall near her house to take advantage of a free internet connection in Concon, Chile, November 20, 2017. Alejandra walked several blocks during the night to a shopping mall and sat for hours in front of the closed stores, to use the free internet network and chat with her loved ones in Venezuela. CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS