I’m a Venezuelan migrant refugee in Mexico. I’m 34 years old, I have a daughter and currently I don’t have a job, as they fired me because I don’t have my papers complete. They gave me my residency after a year and a half of procedures. I’m not lying, the truth is that it‘s a quite tedious process and I’m still waiting for them to give me my card. In total I was two years and a half waiting to be “legal” in Mexico.
Is it hard to be hired here in Mexico? Well look, it’s really necessary to have your complete papers in this country in order to get a good job, with a good income on which I can give a worthy life to my daughter. I’ve been, like, at 20 job interviews and no one hired me. I have my initial education but I didn’t finish my degree, so yes, it’s hard.
I live with my daughter and my boyfriend, he’s mexican. I thank him for helping me with expenses, the rent, food, house stuff, because without a job, I wouldn’t be able to.
I’ll be honest with you, they never threatened me, but I had to run out of Venezuela because of fear. I left because of insecurity, I had anxiety attacks just thinking that they could do something to me and my daughter. There was a time where the thieves got through the building where we lived. That made my parents, two sisters and us sleep together. The only thing that kept us from the possibility of being robbed, was a mattress that we had against the door in the hope of being enough impediment.
“En ese momento yo pensé que ya no éramos libres, ni la niña, ni yo. Pueden entrar a mi casa y robar, o matarme. Eso fue suficiente. Me vine para acá -México- porque un amigo nos ofreció ayuda. Le tomé la palabra.”
Why is it insecure? Because in my country there’s only survival. There is no food, people are out of job, they steal medicine and the situation worsened, until Venezuela became uninhabitable.
I still have family there. It’s difficult and horrible being separated, because you feel guilty of having full services like food, job, work, security and they don’t. Every day they are in a constant battle, and you feel wrong because you are not.
Getting out of Venezuela? Well there’s no such thing as a prohibition, but getting out is practically impossible. Between the requirements of the papers, passports and getting money, with a salary that can go from 5 to 8 dollars a month, and the flight ticket being 700 dollars, you can not do it. I was able to do it because a lot of people from outside supported me with the money, if not, I could never have been talking about this. Look, part of the shortage was that you depend on your identification which indicates the amount of food or products that you can buy in the supermarket. My family told me that you can get food, but now everything is more expensive, that you need someone outside of the country in order to get a deposit and, in that way, survive.
What did I expect before arriving in Mexico? Well, the truth, the only thing I wanted was to give my daughter food and security every single day. To rest knowing that we don’t lack anything. Before Mexico I was in Panama and it was difficult because the salary was even lower, and the jobs better paid were in prostitution. I ran out from Panama because I didn’t want to get involved in worse things than the ones I already lived in Venezuela.
Being a migrant is not easy, if you get caught they lock you down in a room for two or three days without food. Nobody emigrates for pleasure, nobody wants to leave their family, or struggle in a country that is not yours where, practically, you can’t have access to anything. Treatment of migrants is not human and people should be more emphatic because the world gives so many turns that you never know when it’s going to be you. I never expected it to be me.