Gabriel Villalba: the certainty of a coup d’état in Bolivia

“What the world needs to know is that in Bolivia we don’t live in a democracy,” is one of the things Gabriel Villalba told me when we talked in a rooftop café in La Paz. From up there, there was a tranquillity that looked nothing like the streets we had just crossed to get toContinue reading “Gabriel Villalba: the certainty of a coup d’état in Bolivia”

The calls to my grandmother (and the certainty that she speaks my language)

I’ve been calling my grandma more often.  She’s always lived far away. But I never called.  Maybe because something in me always fed the hope that at the end of the year we’d see each other. And then I could give her the tightest hugs and lay my head on her lap while she strokedContinue reading “The calls to my grandmother (and the certainty that she speaks my language)”

“De Arepa en Budare”: Luisa and those who still resist in Venezuela

“Never, ever, even with the terrible situation we’re living in now, I would leave my country. I am Venezuelan, as we say here, ‘de arepa en budare’*”. It is one of the first sentences that Luisa tells me while we have a coffee at 6 in the morning, amidst the tranquillity of La Gran Sabana.Continue reading ““De Arepa en Budare”: Luisa and those who still resist in Venezuela”

Venezuela: A spark of hope in the middle of chaos

My time in Venezuela was short. I arrived one day and left the next. And I feel that I needed more to absorb the atmosphere of the country that, yes, is sinking into a crisis. But in contrast, have people who don’t hold their heads down.  I didn’t have the chance to stop for theContinue reading “Venezuela: A spark of hope in the middle of chaos”

Alba and the Venezuelan resistance in Brazil

“When I left [Venezuela], I said, ‘I will be the resistance in Brazil because I will have a voice and I will tell the world who we are”. One of the pioneers of the first Boa Vista Welcoming Centre, Ms. Alba Marina is certainly a force of resistance in Brazilian lands – and still offersContinue reading “Alba and the Venezuelan resistance in Brazil”

Alba e a resistência Venezuelana no Brasil

“Quando eu saí de lá [da Venezuela], eu falei ‘eu vou ser resistência no Brasil’. Porque eu vou ter uma voz e eu vou dizer pro mundo quem a gente é”. Idealizadora do primeiro Centro de Acolhida de Boa Vista, Alba Marina com certeza resiste em terras Brasileiras – e ainda oferece suporte aos seusContinue reading “Alba e a resistência Venezuelana no Brasil”

Roraima: The Complexities of the Migratory Flow

Dona Raimunda has lived in Boa Vista since 1983 when she moved from Manaus. Like many Manauaras, she “came to visit and never went back”. Her recount is complex and rich described in a way that only Roraimans can deeply identify with. In an informal conversation at the city’s Crafts Center, at first she complainsContinue reading “Roraima: The Complexities of the Migratory Flow”

Roraima: onde as complexidades vão além de um fluxo migratório

Dona Raimunda vive em Boa Vista desde 1983, vinda de Manaus. Como muitos de seus conterrâneos, “veio para conhecer e nunca mais voltou”. O discurso dela é de uma complexidade que só Roraima parece carregar. Numa conversa informal no Centro de Artesanato da cidade, ela reclama para mim de como a população Venezuelana mudou aContinue reading “Roraima: onde as complexidades vão além de um fluxo migratório”

A Mão Amiga do Exército Brasileiro em Pacaraima

O primeiro rosto que os imigrantes encontram ao cruzar a fronteira é o do militar. E isso talvez seja motivo de medo e preocupação em muitos lugares do mundo (inclusive algumas outras partes do Brasil). Não em Pacaraima. Na cidade fronteira entre Brasil e Venezuela os militares tem um propósito: acolher. A “Operação Acolhida” foiContinue reading “A Mão Amiga do Exército Brasileiro em Pacaraima”

The open helping hand: Brazilian Army Mission

The initial encounter the immigrants face when crossing the border is the military. This indeed may be a source of fear and concern including some other parts of Brazil; but not in Pacaraima. In the border city between Brazil and Venezuela, the military extends it’s welcome and helping hand. The Operação Acolhida (Operation Welcome) wasContinue reading “The open helping hand: Brazilian Army Mission”