Cúcuta, February 14, 2020 – “Again I had to migrate because I am a mother and father to my three children.” With these words, the story begins. Undertaking a trip to an unknown place is also brave, and much more when you leave your family and loved ones without knowing when they will see each other again.
There are anecdotes and experiences to tell in each suitcase and in each look that arrives and leaves the Centro de Migraciones shelter. They’re not only passing through guests but stories of life that are woven and built while stayed in the shelter.
This is the story of Andreina Torrealba, a 27 years old woman from Venezuela, who came to Colombia looking for hope and a dream, leaving her 3 children and her mother in a delicate state of health who “takes medicine that costs a lot of money, in Venezuela now is about dollars, it is no longer bolivars.”
Sobbing, she narrates how she had to separate herself from her loved ones; “I did not bring them because of fear and insecurity of taking them to an unknown and uncertain place.”
“I traveled because of the needs my family is experiencing.”
What motivated her to leave her country and family was the need for food, education, health, and a host of precarious situations that they are going through. Taking the family forward is the objective for which she undertook this journey in a new country with everything and the changes it entails.
This fighting mother traveled in a queue from her city of Barquisimeto to Cúcuta. She says that this is the second attempt she has made to establish herself in the city of Cúcuta, at that time she spent five months on a farm collecting coffee, then she worked at a recycler, but the situation was very difficult and she returned to his place of origin with empty hands.
For her second arrival in Cúcuta she does so with the hopes of a better life arriving as a guest of the Scalabrinian shelter Centro de Migraciones and for this occasion, she comes with a set goal, with the idea of starting a business and fighting for what she wants, a future for her children where they can study and enjoy a dignified life.
It has not been easy for her because she had to deal with all kinds of situations being in distant lands, undocumented and without a roof to sleep, only under the shelter of the street. Over the days, she found out from a friend who she met the first time when she migrated about the humanitarian assistance offered at the Centro de Migraciones to people who come from Venezuela
The stay in the Centro de Migraciones has been pleasant as she tells us, “It’s been a while since I have eaten fruit, salad, juice, and the attention is great, thanks to God.”