I’m Venezuelan and I emigrated to Peru in November of last year. We decided to leave Peru because we were living in a situation very similar to how we were living in Venezuela. We didn’t have enough money to afford anything. We started hearing everyone talk about the United States and the possibilities that exist there, so we decided to go and try.
We left Peru by hitchhiking, then we reached Ecuador, then Colombia, and Panama. We crossed the jungle—we left from Capurgana in Colombia. Before crossing, I would have liked to know what that was like. I thought I knew, but I really had no idea.
I crossed while I was seven months pregnant and it took us ten days. We did it all alone. It rained a lot and I was scared. We were lucky because the river wasn’t cresting. We were carrying a pot for cooking and a lighter and we cooked the food we brought with firewood we found along the way. At first, we had a lot of stuff, but we had to start leaving it behind because we couldn’t take all that weight. We threw out our clothes, our blankets, and even that pot we used to cook. We arrived to Panama with nothing except the clothes we had on. To whomever wants to take this route I would tell them not to do it. I’ve seen many people who’ve arrived traumatized. I’ve heard stories of people who have witnessed their families die along the route. Don’t you dare put yourself through this.
Since I’ve been here in San Vicente, I’ve been able to monitor my pregnancy at MSF’s medical tent. There, they listened to the baby, they checked that everything was ok, and they gave me all the vitamins I need. It’s going to be a girl and she’ll be named Chery. I’m scared because I think I might have to give birth here.
As soon as we’re able to, we’ll continue our way to the United States. There, we will work and save our money until we have enough money to buy a house in Venezuela, and try to return. Any other way, it wouldn’t be possible. Beyond that, I don’t know what the future will bring. I haven’t even imagined how my baby will be.