Los Desplazados: JRS’s Response to the Venezuelan Diaspora
17 September 2019
Maria decided to leave Venezuela when she was 37 weeks pregnant with her first child. Fearing for her safety, she did not want to raise her child amidst an economic and political crisis.
“The truth is that I had no idea how to raise my child in Venezuela. I understand that it’s not suddenly easy to do so on the other side, but I believed that I could give her a better life away from Venezuela.”
Like many Venezuelans before and after her, Maria made the long journey south across Colombia until she reached the border with Ecuador. Alone and unsure where to go, Maria felt lost. This was when she met Jesuit Refugee Service.
Responding quickly to her vulnerable situation, JRS staff provided Maria with the support she needed during the final days of her pregnancy. They referred her to a JRS-supported shelter in Quito that provides a living space for mothers and their children. Not long after moving into her new home, and with much relief, Maria delivered a healthy baby girl.
Maria’s story is one of millions. Today, over 4 million people have fled Venezuela since 2014, seeking refuge worldwide, due to severe economic contraction, hyperinflation, political turmoil, persecution, and a lack of basic needs and public services such as food, medicines, and healthcare.
Los Desplazados tells the stories of displaced Venezuelans. I encourage you read these stories to better understand this humanitarian emergency and the ways JRS is responding.
You make it possible for JRS to respond to Maria and her baby’s critical needs. Thank you for your continued support of and advocacy for the vulnerable.