Sunday, November 28, 2021

Shelter in Peru’s capital offers a helping hand to Venezuelan migrants

Fotografía tomada el 25 de abril de 2018, de un grupo de inmigrantes venezolanos en una habitación de la vivienda donde temporalmente residen, en uno de los distritos mas populosos de la capital, San Juan de Lurigancho, en Lima (Perú). La solidaridad y caridad imperan en el improvisado albergue que un pequeño empresario peruano ha instalado para dar un primer techo a los venezolanos recién llegados a Lima, desde donde intentan comenzar una nueva vida a la que se vieron abocados por la crudeza de la crisis que atraviesa Venezuela. EFE

Lima, Apr 26 (EFE).- A Peruvian businessman has opened a shelter in Lima for Venezuelan migrants who left their country due to the severe economic crisis that has hit the Caribbean nation ever since oil prices plummeted in 2014-2015.
At first only a dozen or so migrants would stay in the shelter at a time, but now there are more than 100 staying there, reflecting the rise in the number of Venezuelans living in Peru.

According to Peru’s National Migration Superintendence, there are currently more than 200,000 Venezuelans in Peru, although the vast majority are tourists.

That figure includes 36,000 Venezuelans who have a temporary residency permit.

“My WhatsApp is constantly ringing every day,” textile entrepreneur Renee Cobeña, who opened the shelter on his own dime, told EFE.

The shelter is completely free and even provides migrants with breakfast, lunch and dinner, thanks to donations it receives.
Cobeña only asks the people he helps to attempt to find a job as soon as possible so that they can move out and make space for other migrants.

“Those who come here generally find work in a week. Sometimes they expect to find jobs as managers or supervisors, but here they have to start from scratch,” Cobeña said.

The businessman also bought five food carts to help the migrants make a living selling street food while they adjust.
Venezuelan men, women and children currently live in the shelter, having usually crossed Colombia and Ecuador by bus, a week-long trip that costs around $300.

During the last few years, the presence of Venezuelan migrants has become more visible in Peru, where they can easily obtain a temporary residency permit, allowing them to find work opportunities and attempt to improve their living conditions.