Photo: Matheus Peres

“We have faith that everything will get better so we can go home, reunite with our family and have those happy Christmas again” - Yulaidye

by Ana Célia Machado

Married with three children, Yulaidye (22) and Carlos (24) are in Brazil for almost six months now. The couple used to live in the city of Maturín, in the state of Monagas (Venezuela). Carlos worked in a chemical factory and Yulaidye was taking care of the house. The family had a quiet and simple life before the Venezuelan economic crisis knocked on their door. Yulaidye tells us how they were always having fun hanging out with their children, taking them to the square or to eat out, celebrating their birthdays with a big party, gathering the whole family together for a big meal, etc.

However, at certain point, they realized that the money they were earning was no longer enough to buy even basic things, not to mention going out or having a big birthday party. The salary could not cover even essential things like food or hygiene products. It was all due to the rising inflation and devaluation of the national currency. Carlos reveals, with tears in his eyes, that at some point the situation was so critical that the children had nothing to eat and cried with hunger until they fell asleep. It was during these painful moments that he and his wife made the decision to move to Brazil. Shortly after, the family's journey to a new life began.

  Photo: Matheus Peres

They decided to leave their country with the hope of escaping the crisis and to seek a new beginning in Brazil. The couple tells us how they have gone through several difficult situations like starving and living on a street after their arrival in Brazil. They have also suffered xenophobia form the locals, to the point that Yulaidye decided to stop asking for clothes for the children, who, at that point, had only one garment each. Despite all these difficulties that the family went through, they stay positive and try to appreciate the little they currently have. The couple tells us that they enjoy Brazilian culture and Carlos even jokes that he is trying to learn how to dance samba.

 

Photo: Matheus Peres

Today, the family lives in one of the shelters provided by the governmental “Operação Acolhida”. However, they express the desire to participate in the interiorization program and be transferred to another state. They still do not lose hope that one day the situation in Venezuela will get better and they would be able to return to the family they left behind. The couple gets emotional when they remember the life they had at home before the crisis. “At Christmas the whole family would gather, make a big dinner, play music and dance together, that's one of the things we miss the most” - they share with us. The couple hopes to be able to keep their traditions and culture alive, while in Brazil, and this way to build a resemblance of life with quality and joy like the one they have had before.