The UN Refugee Agency
Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Has just turned 18 and is from Maracay, Venezuela. In her home country, she was bullied at school for not joining the gangs that controlled the place and, what’s more, she was blackmailed by them on the pretext of not revealing her sexual orientation. This caused her to abandon her studies despite only having two terms left.
Now, several years later, she has left Venezuela with the aim of returning to her studies and headed to Ecuador, to join up with her sister Johanny, who has been living in Santo Domingo for some time now. Arianna hopes that her sister can help her to start a new life in a foreign country. On the journey, she will face the discrimination and danger that displaced people are confronted with around the world.
She is Arianna’s older sister, she is 25. It has been over three years since she left Venezuela because she was the first person in her family who had to leave the country in the middle of the serious social and economic crisis that Venezuela is undergoing. She arrived in Ecuador, like many of her compatriots, by walking from Venezuela. She crossed the whole of Colombia in order to finally arrive in Ecuador, a journey that took her a week. She has tried her luck in various cities and is currently living in Santo Domingo, in the Coast region of Ecuador. She works on a farm where she is not paid a fair wage, but she needs the job in order to move forward. With the money she saved, she was able to help Arianna leave her country and fulfil her dream of returning to her studies.
Born in Colombia and arrived in Ecuador as a refugee due to the armed conflict in his country, where he was extorted in exchange for his safety. Refusing to give in, he began to receive constant threats until, one day, his family was attacked. He managed to get his family to another city, but one day, when he returned from the countryside, he found his house on fire. At that moment, he realised that he had to flee immediately. He took a bus with few things in his suitcase and travelled to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. He has managed to become settled financially in the city and has been able to open a restaurant. Due to his experience, he has become a community leader and constantly helps those around him, including other refugees.
Lives in the north of Ecuador with her husband and youngest daughter. She has another daughter and a couple of grandchildren whom she adores. She is very charismatic and talkative, and is always happy to help anyone who needs it. She is much loved in the neighbourhood and gets on very well with all her neighbours. Every day she travels from her house to her shop in the centre of Cotacachi. She is part of the community groups in the city and often does volunteer work, helping the refugees and migrants who typically pass through the Panamericana crossroads. This always makes her think about her sister, who left Ecuador over twenty years ago in search of a better future in Europe.
Is 20 and is from Caracas, Venezuela. She has been living with HIV for a couple of years and, due to the serious health and hospital crisis, had no access to antiretroviral treatment in her country. She made several attempts, but was ultimately unable to have regular access to these medicines. This necessity, and her eagerness to recover, forced her to make the decision to leave her country and look for alternatives elsewhere. She decided to leave during the pandemic and had to take great care not to fall ill with COVID-19. She chose Ecuador as her destination as she has friends there who have offered to give her a hand, both financially and logistically so she can get to a safe place.