Mi name's Albert.
I was a junior student of biology at the University of Carabobo, in Valencia, Venezuela.
A few weeks ago, I had to quit.
Since 2014, the economic and political climate in Venezuela has been troublesome, and now, in 2017, it's almost unbearable. Food costs are incredibly high, transportation. Me and my family haven't bought any clothes since more than two years now because we just can't afford it, even when both my parents have full-time jobs. The reason for that is our extremely high inflation and the lack of productivity of national enterprises. As a consequence, we have to get almost everything - from food and medicines to clothes and car repairs - imported, and it costs a lot. As for today, the value of a dolar is almost 14000 Bs in the black market, while the legal is just 10 Bs, and the minimum-wage (which is what almost everyone, no matter the job, gets paid) is 97000 Bs, which is 9700 $ or 10 $. The real problem with it is that the "legal" dolar can only be acquired for big businessmen and, obviously, the government authorities, while the rest of the people has to get it on the black market, no matter if you're a simple student or an importer. As a consequence, the price of everything is based on the "black" dollar and we cannot afford many things, like food.
Since more than a year my family and many friends have been eating nothing more than vegetables and very small rations of food everyday so it can last the full month, and even like that, sometimes it doesn't. We cannot even get rice or pasta, or milk, because it is imported and too much expensive. Even soap and other higiene products are out of our reach. Due to that, I had to quit college to try to get a job, but since prices are increasing heavily almost every week, many shops, stores, factories, and other places where you could get hired are being closed daily, leaving thousands of unemployed people, yound and old equally. I've been trying to find a job since more than six months now. The dollar crisis has also affected educational and investigation institutions since we cannot pay for things like new computers or laboratory reagents, leaving many careers and whole faculties at the border of closing.
For all of those reasons, I've decided something that really breaks my heart: leave the country. Right now, I'm planning to be one of those thousands of venezuelans who are daily leaving to new lands, leaving everything behind to get a chance of living more than surviving, and send help to their relatives who are still here in Venezuela.
I have to leave my mom, dad, my little two-years old sister, many friends, and my brother, just so I can work in a different country and send them some money for them to live more decently, and at some point, take them with me too.
Thankfully, many of our closest countries are opening their doors to us, venezuelans, acknowledging the deep crisis we're now facing, but the legal part is not the problem. The real problem is most of us just cannot afford paying for the bus we have to take to get to those countries. Right now, I am intending on going to Peru, where some friends who also left here are living and will lend me some help, but the cost of the travel to there is 200$ for the bus ticket, plus 50$ we must have in order to pass through Colombia (those are their politics) for each day we're staying there, and that depends of the things we find on the road, which is usually one to two days, which means 300$ in total, plus, 100-150$ for food during the travel which can last up to five days, and 50$ in case something unexpected happens. That's all 500$. In order for me to pay that in Venezuela, taking the price of one dollar today (which was different than yesterday, by a lot) would be 7000000 Bs, which is equal to 72 months of work of 6 years. I - and with me almost everyone in here - cannot afford that, and that's why I'm here to ask for your help: I don't need much, because I'm not intending to take a luxury trip. It's something I have to do because living here really is not living, but surviving, and because I'm ready to leave everything behind in order to, at least, get a chance to live decently and help my family to do that too.
I really hope you can help me: just 1$ from 500 people. It might not be that much for you, but it's a new life for me and my beloved ones.