My fellow Venezuelans abroad get it. It’s super hard to be an expat these days.
Our daily lives continue with all of their rhythms and mundaneness. But our hearts are torn in two and our mind is only half engaged with what we’re doing on any given day.
Many of you know I was born and grew up in Venezuela. My mom still lives in Caracas. Many of family and friends are there, though the Venezuelan diaspora has spread us throughout the planet.
I am hugely lucky that I have a beautiful life in Vermont. I also have survivor’s guilt.
If you don’t know about the level of destruction that has befallen the country, you can get a glimpse in the news. The past 40 days have been horrific. Venezuela is living a war where one side is armed with white flags, whistles and chants for democracy and freedom... the other side is armed with teargas, armored tanks and bullets.
Wall Street Journal: Venezuela Is Starving
New York Times: Chaos Looms Over Venezuela
Human Rights Watch: Venezuela’s Humanitarian Crisis
Financial Times: Venezuelans Take to the Streets In “Mother of all Marches”
It’s bad. And it’s difficult to watch from afar. For a few days I felt there was little I could do. Then I began to see how many people are organizing support from outside. I can make donation to fund supplies for the protesters, medical supplies for volunteer medics attending street protesters, food for volunteers, and so much more.
And then I created a meditation for my mother. I know how much the stress and horror of what they're living is getting to her. We both see how it affects her health.
This is one heart-felt contribution I can make to my beloved brothers and sisters in Venezuela. So here it is for them.
Even as I continue to live my life everyday in Vermont, where I'm not fearing for my life each time I walk out the door, where every time I make dinner I realize I didn't have to stand in line to get basic ingredients, and where tear gas is not going to come through my bedroom window... I can let my people back at home know that they are on my mind and in my prayers.