Bolivians are braving land mines and the world’s driest desert to get into Chile

An encampment on the outskirts of the Chilean port city of Arica, where numerous documented migrants have been forced to settle. Photo by Jon Hernandez

An encampment on the outskirts of the Chilean port city of Arica, where numerous documented migrants have been forced to settle. Photo by Jon Hernandez

by Jon Hernandez, Michelle Ghoussoub, and Ahmed Najdat

When Guadalupe left her home in Bolivia, she hoped she would find a better life for her family. She settled on the outskirts of Arica, a major port in the north of Chile on the border with Peru, where she lives with her husband and three children.

But they do not have electricity, running water, or even a ceiling.

“The fridge doesn’t work,” she said, as the hot desert sun shone through the open roof. “And here’s where we do the dishes,” she added, pointing to a bucket of brown water.

A decrepit couch, a rusted stroller, and torn-up Chilean flags sat outside her front door, in a makeshift encampment on the fringes of the Atacama desert, the driest place on earthoutside of Antarctica.

Her next door neighbour, Maura — who, like Guadalupe, asked that her last name be omitted, for security reasons — also fled Bolivia, with the same dreams.

Read the rest of the article on VICE News

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About Jon Hernandez

Jon Hernandez is a Journalist, Tree Planter, and current student at UBC's Graduate School of Journalism. He holds a Bachelors of Arts from UBC Vancouver, and has worked for such publications as The Region and Sustainability Television. View all posts by Jon Hernandez

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