Photo: Fabricio Carrijo
“I think this is the best place where I could start over with my family.” - Ali
by Suedy Lorenna
Ali Del Valle Carrillo Peinado (30) was born in Maturín, the capital of Monagas state in Venezuela, where he was in the last semester of the undergraduate course in Physical Education and worked as a musician. He plays Vallenato, a traditional Colombian folk rhythm to which he adds the sound of cavaquinho (a small guitar-like instrument). With the earning from his music he was able to maintain his family, as well as afford the college fees. However, with the worsening economic crisis in his country, it became no longer possible to live from his art and he ended up having to abandon his studies and look for new sources of income.
The decision to come to Brazil was not an easy one. With no prospect of employment, having three young children and a mother to look after, he had no doubt: it was necessary to leave Venezuela. His wife came first with their two youngest children. A few months later, Ali came to Brazil with his eldest son.
He recalls that even selling the little they had, he could barely get the ticket to arrive in Santa Elena (Venezuelan city at the border with Brazil). Upon their arrival in Pacaraima, at the Brazilian side of the border, Ali and his son had to work to be able to get a ticket to Boa Vista, the capital of Roraima, to reunite with their family.
Despite having suffered a lot of xenophobia for being Venezuelan, Ali shows optimism and nurtures expectations of better days. For him, having the opportunity to work and send money to his mother who stayed in Venezuela is a motivation to stay in Brazil. The family comes first - he says. Ensuring the well-being of his loved ones is his top priority.