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Economy

Venezuelans find ways to cope with inflation and hunger

Updated : 2019-03-20 09:36:38

Some Venezuelans manage to endure the nation's economic meltdown by clinging to the shrinking number of well-paid jobs or by receiving some of the hundreds of millions of dollars sent home by friends and relatives abroad — a quantity that has swollen in recent years as millions of Venezuelans have fled. But a growing percentage of people across the country, especially in slums like Petare, are struggling to cope.

A portion of the Petare shantytown, one of Latin America's largest slums, in Caracas, Venezuela. Some 400,000 people live crowded into the thousands of brightly coloured cinderblock homes that blanket the Caracas hillsides as far as the eye can see. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
A portion of the Petare shantytown, one of Latin America's largest slums, in Caracas, Venezuela. Some 400,000 people live crowded into the thousands of brightly coloured cinderblock homes that blanket the Caracas hillsides as far as the eye can see. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Dugleidi Salcedo complains to a neighbour about the high price of food as she prepares arepas for her three sons in her kitchen in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Hunger drove Salcedo to send her four-year-old daughter to live with an aunt when she could no longer feed her. “My boys cry,” the single mother of four said. “But they resist more than her when I tell them that there’s no food.” (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Dugleidi Salcedo complains to a neighbour about the high price of food as she prepares arepas for her three sons in her kitchen in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Hunger drove Salcedo to send her four-year-old daughter to live with an aunt when she could no longer feed her. “My boys cry,” the single mother of four said. “But they resist more than her when I tell them that there’s no food.” (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Eight-year-old Franyelis feeds her baby brother Joneiber as their mother Francibel Contreras holds a bowl of scrambled eggs and rice, at a soup kitchen in the Petare slum, Caracas, Venezuela. Contreras brings her three malnourished children to the soup kitchen in the dangerous hillside slum where they scoop in spoonfuls of food in what could be their only meal of the day. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Eight-year-old Franyelis feeds her baby brother Joneiber as their mother Francibel Contreras holds a bowl of scrambled eggs and rice, at a soup kitchen in the Petare slum, Caracas, Venezuela. Contreras brings her three malnourished children to the soup kitchen in the dangerous hillside slum where they scoop in spoonfuls of food in what could be their only meal of the day. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Jorge Flores practices his hairstyling skills on his mother Rosa Vega inside his home, where he is trying to set up a barbershop in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. He used to have a small stand at a local market selling things like bananas and yucca, eggs and lunchmeat -trying to scrape out a profit in a place where hyperinflation often made his wholesale costs double from day to day. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Jorge Flores practices his hairstyling skills on his mother Rosa Vega inside his home, where he is trying to set up a barbershop in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. He used to have a small stand at a local market selling things like bananas and yucca, eggs and lunchmeat -trying to scrape out a profit in a place where hyperinflation often made his wholesale costs double from day to day. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Francis Ojeda stands in her living room with her sons Moises, 8, from left, Joyker, 5, and Eduardo, 4, in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. The scarcity of milk and other basic products has been turning the poor against socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Most Venezuelans blame him for the economic crisis. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Francis Ojeda stands in her living room with her sons Moises, 8, from left, Joyker, 5, and Eduardo, 4, in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. The scarcity of milk and other basic products has been turning the poor against socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Most Venezuelans blame him for the economic crisis. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
The Salcedo brothers from left, Jackson, Daniel and Julio, watch television as they wait for their mother to prepare dinner at their house in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
The Salcedo brothers from left, Jackson, Daniel and Julio, watch television as they wait for their mother to prepare dinner at their house in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Carmen Victoria Gimenez, 43, shops at a farmers market in the middle-class district of Los Dos Caminos, in Caracas, Venezuela.
Carmen Victoria Gimenez, 43, shops at a farmers market in the middle-class district of Los Dos Caminos, in Caracas, Venezuela. "I earn much more than the minimum wage and I still struggle," she said. "I can't even imagine how the poorest of the poor survive." (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Eduardo Ojeda, 4, sits in an open space of his home in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Notoriously poor and crime-ridden, the shanty town's residents struggle daily with scarce running water and frequent blackouts. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Eduardo Ojeda, 4, sits in an open space of his home in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Notoriously poor and crime-ridden, the shanty town's residents struggle daily with scarce running water and frequent blackouts. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
People wait as a worker fills storage barrels with potable water in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Notoriously poor and crime-ridden, the shanty town's residents struggle daily with scarce running water and frequent blackouts. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
People wait as a worker fills storage barrels with potable water in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Notoriously poor and crime-ridden, the shanty town's residents struggle daily with scarce running water and frequent blackouts. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Children eat in a soup kitchen where they scoop spoonfuls of rice and scrambled eggs in what could be their only meal of the day, in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Part of the tragedy of daily life in socialist Venezuela can be glimpsed in this small volunteer soup kitchen in the heart of one of Latin America’s biggest slums, which helps dozens of children as well as unemployed mothers who can no longer feed them. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Children eat in a soup kitchen where they scoop spoonfuls of rice and scrambled eggs in what could be their only meal of the day, in the Petare slum, in Caracas, Venezuela. Part of the tragedy of daily life in socialist Venezuela can be glimpsed in this small volunteer soup kitchen in the heart of one of Latin America’s biggest slums, which helps dozens of children as well as unemployed mothers who can no longer feed them. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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