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Photo: Fabricio Carrijo

"I felt bad because even having a job I could not help my family. I would need five more wages for me and my family to eat well" - Marco

by Ana Clara Bernardes e Amanda Palácio

Marco (20) left Venezuela in 2018 due to the crisis. Even before the situation in the country got critical he has already thought of leaving and has researched the culture of other places, including Brazil. He decided to come to Brazil because, compared to Colombia, for instance, Brazil is a bigger country and therefore he thought he would have more perspectives and opportunities here. In Venezuela, Marco had a heavy routine. He worked as a driver and had to wake up every day at 4:00 am to make the revision of the cars in the company. He was combining this job with his undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Tourism.


The main reason why he moved to Brazil was his family's financial instability. Since the death of his father, Marco has been providing for his family. He became responsible for maintaining the expenses of the household and took care of his mother and sister. He recalls, with sadness, that at a certain point the salary he was getting as a driver was no longer sufficient to cover even the very basic expenses of his family. He was also worried about his sister who is sick and needs medicine that in Venezuela is no longer available. 


Marco comments that at the beginning of his adaptation in Brazil the linguistic barrier was the most difficult obstacle to overcome. The little Portuguese he knows so far, he has learnt with a lot of effort and determination. He sadly comments that he has also suffered discrimination from Brazilians simply for being Venezuelan. But this has not discouraged him to keep searching for a job here. Today, Marco lives in the Rondon 1 shelter and prefers, for now, to stay in Brazil. He believes that his perspectives are better here and therefore he will be able to help his family and guarantee a better quality of life for them.


After all, he still has a lot of affection for his country and feels proud to be Venezuelan. But for now, his return plans are limited only to short visits to meet up with his friends and relatives who are still living in Venezuela. 

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