““I am in Brazil so that my children can have a future" - Caterine
by Juliana Mangabeira
Caterine (25) lived in Barcelona (Venezuela) with her husband and two sons. Before the crisis has spread around Venezuela, Caterine's life was very different than it is now. She considers that her family had a good quality of life, but the worsening economic situation of the country painfully affected it. All that she knew, her friends and family was left behind when she emigrated to Brazil with her husband and children.
Before the crisis, Caterine owned a beauty salon and worked as a beautician. This job was giving her a lot of pleasure and was adding a meaning to her life. With this job, she managed to save enough money to pay the trip to Pacaraima, Brazilian border city. But there the money ended and the family was not able to continue their journey to Boa Vista. Luckily, they were offered a ride by a compassionate Brazilian who was going in that direction. When they arrived in Boa Vista they were directly allocated in one of the shelters, where they have been living for seven months now.
Forced migration changed Caterine's life completely. She used to have a comfortable life that suddenly she was compelled to leave behind and move to an unfamiliar country leaving behind everything she knew. Caterine says she had never wanted to leave Venezuela, but the situation has forced her to look for better opportunities, especially for her children. This decision, as she says, was one of the most difficult choices she had to make in her life, and it still hurts her to talk about her country. Caterine confesses to have already thought of returning to Venezuela on various occasions, she just didn't because she doesn't want her children to go through difficult situations there.
Foto: Katarzyna Górka
Her biggest dream is to continue to be a beautician and to open her own beauty salon in Brazil, to maintain the professional activity she enjoys so much and to give a bit more of purpose to her current life. She hopes that Venezuela will soon recover from the crisis as she longs to return to her home country, where she grew up, have built a life and where she wants her children to grow up too. Then, Brazil will remain in her memory as a beautiful country.