How I got my son out of Venezuela

After witnessing the concert for humanitarian aid to Venezuela, I decided to conclude with a writing that I had not been able to finish. If you read the publication, about my odyssey to leave Venezuela, sure they were left with the curiosity to know how it was the end of my trip. The ordeal of the trip continued, I had told them that I was able to buy my bus ticket in Cúcuta and had finally sealed the entrance passport. Well, the next day we boarded the bus to Rumichaca - border with Ecuador - the trip was approximately 12 hours, we arrived at 2 in the morning. Already in the Ecuadorian terminal, I had to wait two more days in a queue; As I was hungry, I paid 2 $ for a lunch I had: chicken broaster with rice, salad, chorizo, red beans, French fries, a Coca-Cola and a dessert cake

-that food, for me it was truly the best of the trip-.

After having lunch, we paid a taxi from Rumichaca to Tulcán, from there we had to continue to Guayaquil or Quito, to our surprise there were no executive buses for either destination, so not to continue waiting we took a bus that did not have any type of comfort. In this a lot of authority personnel, policemen and guards went up asking if there were Colombians on the bus -I never knew why - We continued the trip, we arrived at the terminal of Quitumbe and we took another bus to Tumbes, on arrival we spent another day waiting for bus to Lima, but we did not wait any longer, we decided to pay another taxi. They spent 24 hours of road, until finally, I took a bus to the southern part of the city of Lima, where I currently live.

They have been months of hard work, exhausting work I would say, but only the fact of having the purchasing power, to pay for services, lodging, food and sometimes distraction, makes me feel that all the effort is worthwhile. In this time, I had many jobs, as they say in my country killing any tiger; from selling sweets in a gas station, cooking assistant in a restaurant, going through security in events, following with Santa's assistant in a shopping center, many things I did to save my son's passage and expenses.

I told her mother that, for the obvious reasons of economic and social crisis, we could not continue to allow our son to grow and develop in that environment. Although her mother and I were a bit distanced, she agreed with me that it was the right thing for him and his future.

Every day more children are seen, wandering the streets of Venezuela, some leave the home to help, others leave to give their portion of food to their younger siblings, others because the situation has caused depression and mental health problems in the home -They prefer to be far from home- and others are now engaged in crime. Many unscrupulous people recruit children to use in robberies, in exchange for a plate of food and where to sleep.

As most of you know, the crisis in Venezuela is not only economic, it is political, it has reached the most incredible instances, for example, how my son did not have his passport updated; it was tried through the regular channels to request a new one, if it was not possible, the only option was the so-called extension, which allows the validity of the passport to be extended for two years. Well, we did not manage to carry out such a simple procedure, I had to pay a total of 600 U $ D to a manager at that time, who assured me of issuing the extension.

Children and adolescents are the ones who have suffered most from this situation, most have known in their short life, hunger due to lack of resources and the inefficiency of basic services. Many have also had to go to work, leaving school dropout rates excessively high each year, simply because they need to find a way to help at home.

Already having the most important thing - the passport - we started the paperwork, that is, the travel permits, since as in many other countries; Minors can not leave the country without the proper permission signed by both parents and validated by the competent body. We had to pay express mail, so that I could sign the corresponding papers and be able to bring it.

Her mother decided to come with him, I explained that I would only support her when I arrived, since I was limited to covering my son's expenses. Accepting the conditions, and being able to save as much as he could, -I even stopped eating some days- I asked her to buy the ticket, she took care of his.

When I left Venezuela, I weighed a total of 95 kg, today my weight is 75 kg, the stress situation and limitations, influenced my weight completely.

Thank God, the ticket did not buy it in the same terminal as me, it ran with the luck that I could pay an executive bus to travel to San Cristobal, and from there, they took a taxi to San Antonio del Táchira; There they spent the night in a hostel, you have to understand how difficult it can be for a guy -teenager- go through the entire travel process. It is very different what an adult can endure, days and nights in the open, but I could not allow my son to go through the same situation, especially when we did not know what they would face at the time of going to Cúcuta.

The next day, they took a previously hired taxi to take them to the border, where, like I had to wait two days, this time not by the line of people who wanted to leave Venezuela, this time it was an electrical fault that allowed to connect the information of the SAIME authorities, to do the sealing procedure.

When they sealed the passage, they contacted the same person who helped me, offered them food and where to sleep until the next day. They bought the passage to Rumichaca, there started a commotion, there were many Venezuelans who had at least 4 days to go to Ecuador, the problem was that the Ecuadorian government issued a statement that specified that only those Venezuelans who had passport.

For God's sake, and with a lot of effort, I paid for the renewal of my passport. I could not have imagined what would have happened if they had only the ID card as a means of income. In Rumichaca they bought tickets to Guayaquil, when they arrived they spent the night in another humble hostel, exclusively with a space to sleep. That night, the only thing he asked his mother was something to eat, and they got a cart that sold empanadas de verde, it was a mass of green banana flour stuffed with meat and cheese, that's what they ate.

The next day I called him, he was very tired, I just recollect that I told him - Quiet daddy, they're going to arrive, less is needed -, trying to relieve his fatigue by encouraging him. It was a little more than 4 hours away, they boarded the bus to Tumbes, it was a quiet trip after all, in the bus he slept a little more -on a journey that is a little more than 20 hours-, without noticing already They were in the place buying the ticket to Lima.

My son has never been a child who complains, he refutes nothing, neither to his mother nor to me, he is very obedient and respectful, in this situation he would say that he was a brave man. With only 14 years he faced a situation that my grandfather lived, an Italian who went to Venezuela escaping the war, and never left -there he died- situation for which also many Latinos and Europeans passed.

Currently her mother works as a service lady -cleaning-, after finishing the day sells sweets in the gas station, -she is also doing her part for the well-being of the child-, and he, well ... I tell you that in a little less than 6 months, in the school he was granted a few days ago a recognition for being: "a child dedicated to his studies, a good companion and excellent person". He finished his school year as the first in his class, and I, proud of having been able to contribute to his better development, to not live daily with anxiety, anguish or fear. I'm still working hard, -eaching pa 'lante- for him, for my mother, for our future.

Finally, thanks to the editor of Geofumadas, who I read in my time when I worked for the Government exercising my profession and who graciously gave me the opportunity to publish this text that goes out of the geomatics topics; but that does not leave his writings when he commented on the crisis in Honduras.

One Reply to "How I got my son from Venezuela"

  1. Go to Colombia, there is the same misery! What a lack of criteria!

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