Ecuador. What would you do if you had to flee your country and leave everything behind?

Date 24.01.2020

The Latin America and Caribbean region is still facing an unprecedented refugee and migrant crisis.
Eduardo Stein - Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants (IOM – UNHCR) recently stated that "In the coming year it is projected that the total number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants worldwide will increase from 4.5 million in October 2019 to 6.5 million in December 2020, nearly 85% of whom will be found in the region". In addition, there are millions of people in transit, like those who have to cross the border to meet basic needs, as well as refugees and migrants who were living in Venezuela and who are now returning to their countries of origin.

To address this unprecedented movement in the region, AVSI Ecuador is now expanding the reach of ACTIVADOS, funded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to foster local integration, peaceful coexistence and to protect Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

Along with our activities in Manabí, AVSI Ecuador is operating in the capital Quito and two towns in the Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas province (Santo Domingo and Alluriquín). AVSI is identifying a couple of neighborhoods per area where there is a significant number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants to help them find decent accommodation. AVSI is also supporting the host communities, especially the most vulnerable, to address their own pre-existing needs. AVSI works to strengthen existing community networks involved in the integration process, collaborating with partners from the humanitarian, development, public and private sectors.

Diana is one of the first Venezuelans we met in Alluriquín. She left Venezuela a year ago with her two kids, Ordanys and Odamyer, and now lives in a house with six other Venezuelan families.

Photographer Ana Caroline de Lima met Diana in December 2019 and told her story through this photo gallery.