Diaspora refers to involuntary mass dispersion of a population from its native territories. Current living standards in Venezuela are incomprehensible under President Maduro and his loyalists’ economic management. Oil prices are at an all-time low and inflation is the highest in the world. UN human rights experts reported that by the end of 2017, an average family needed sixty-three times the minimum wage to purchase basic staple foods for their household. Venezuelans feel the effects of devastating poverty in the form of malnutrition and malaria outbreaks, but the report claims they rarely receive treatment services because of medicine and health care shortages. Extreme resource scarcity has bred widespread violence and criminal activity. The disastrous economic meltdown in Venezuela has led to one of the largest refugee crises in Latin American history, with neighboring Colombia receiving the biggest amount of refugees. According to UN Refugee Agency report, Venezuelans irregularly present in Colombia has documented roughly 440,000 entering the country from April 6th to June 8th 2016. Twenty-seven percent of those refugees are children. They claim the numbers have increased to be over one million refugees by October 2018 since Colombia shares an extensive border of 2,219 kilometers with Venezuela and many refugees cross through the jungles because they cannot afford proper documentation such as a passport to leave Venezuela. I am a Humanities Professor from Colombia that lives in Indiana, USA who has researched and studied this human tragedy very closely and would like to share this experience with the world.
2019 Special Focus—Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
J. R. Pico
Senior Lecturer in Spanish, English and Language Studies, Indiana University Kokomo, (USA)
My name is J. R. Pico I am a Senior Lecturer in Spanish at Indiana University Kokomo in Indiana, USA. I am a native of Colombia and I have lived in the USA for almost 23 years. I have a teaching career of 30 years in foreign languages that include Spanish, French and English; I have taught in Colombia, England, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico and the USA.