Venezuela children left behind as parents flee to find work abroad

Shaylim Castro - Reuters

"Some 3 million Venezuelans have migrated in three years, putting a growing strain on the country’s children as more parents are forced into the heart-wrenching decision to leave," says this article from Reuters. The article tells the story of two siblings, Yusneiker, 12, and Anthonella, 8, whose father has migrated to Peru and whose mother has migrated to the Dominican Republic, both to find work and send money home. The childre "are eating better thanks to hard currency remittances from their parents, according to their grandmother Aura Orozco, who is grateful for the dollars that offer a reprieve from Venezuela’s annual inflation of nearly 2 million percent. Still, she said, they miss their parents." One child, says the article, has managed to adapt to living without their parents, but the younger child has struggled. "Anthonella’s grades have slipped. The dark-eyed, curly-haired girl has clammed up and often answers her grandmother by simply nodding or shaking her head."

"'These are lose-lose decisions for the parents - do I lose more by not being able to cover basic needs in the country, or by sacrificing the relationship with my child?' said Abel Saraiba, a psychologist with Caracas-based child advocacy group Cecodap." Remittances from parents working abroad allows children to access food, clothing, medication, and other basic necessities they might not otherwise have, says the article. "Parents say this is little consolation for breaking up a family."