EAGLE PASS: At 32, Venezuelan Victor Manuel Atencio had lastly had it: The disaster roiling his nation, he felt, had ruined all his hopes for the longer term.
So he made the troublesome resolution to to migrate to the US – a gruelling odyssey that ended up taking two months and protecting some 4,800km marked each by calamity and kindness.
“It appeared limitless, very exhausting,” he informed AFP, choking with emotion, after lastly crossing from Mexico to the Texas border city of Eagle Cross, the place he first set foot on American soil.
“I had thought that the toughest half can be the jungle,” mentioned Atencio, referring to the harmful and debilitating hike by the Darien jungle between Colombia and Panama.
“However then I realised that the city jungle was far worse,” with assaults and robberies commonplace alongside the way in which.
“Animals behave higher than males,” he added.
Now, nonetheless, after fording the Rio Grande, with its capricious currents, he was in the US.
Atencio started his journey on Jul 30, together with 31 countrymen from western Venezuela. Like him, they’d turn into fed up with the federal government of Nicolas Maduro, whose rule has been marked by political turmoil and financial collapse.
Through the exhausting trek by the Darien jungle, the place a stream of migrants face each pure risks and assaults by vicious felony gangs, Atencio had progressively solid apart the few belongings he began the journey with, holding solely the barest of requirements: his id papers and a cellphone with earbuds.
“It is unhappy seeing the form some individuals are in on this path,” he mentioned, describing the brutal circumstances migrants face.
Issues have been notably tense for him when he handed by Nicaragua and Guatemala, the place he mentioned he was repeatedly robbed.
Between bribes and extortion, Atencio mentioned he misplaced US$3,000.
However the journey was not fully grim.
Some folks “gave us meals or garments, and that is how we have been capable of survive,” he mentioned, flashing a uncommon smile.
As soon as he was lastly standing on American soil, Atencio embraced a journey companion.
“We made it,” he mentioned.
Atencio’s purpose is to hitch cousins in Dallas – and to forge a life that can “present hope” to relations nonetheless in Venezuela.