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Story Publication logo October 1, 2019

Leaving on Foot: Venezuela's Caminantes in Colombia

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A Venezuelan family waits outside a Red Cross center in Norte de Santander. Image by Patrick Ammerman. Colombia, 2019.
English

Colombia is on the front lines of the largest migrant crisis in the history of the Western...

Marta Alcon tends to a Venezuelan caminante that arrived at her shelter in Los Patios, Colombia. Image by Patrick Ammerman. Colombia, 2019.
Marta Alcon tends to a Venezuelan caminante that arrived at her shelter in Los Patios, Colombia. Image by Patrick Ammerman. Colombia, 2019.

The Venezuela humanitarian crisis is projected to become the largest refugee crisis in the world by 2020. As Venezeula's neighbor, Colombia has become home to more Venezuelan migrants than any other country in Latin America. The most vulnerable of these Venezuelan migrants are arriving in Colombia on foot; hundreds cross the border into Colombia every day. Some plan to walk from the Colombian border to Ecuador, Peru, or Chile. These migrants are called the caminantes, or the walkers.

In summer 2019, Colombia is experiencing an in increase in women, children, people with disabilities, and older adults among the caminantes, who often arrive in dire conditions due to the dangers of their journey. Leaving on Foot features interviews with one of the caminantes, a government official, and a business owner who has opened a shelter for Venezuelans. The video shines a light on the conditions Venezuelan walkers face on the roads of Colombia.

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