For years, the plastic artist Jesús Pernalete has dedicated himself to fighting hunger amongst his students in Barquisimeto, state of Lara, through projects and foundations that have provided them with a hot meal. No longer able to continue pursuing his mission, as the crisis in Venezuela escalated, he and his team had to look for other ways to helping children overcome malnutrition.
From an early age, Alcides learned the business of crop farming and sale from his father. Every morning, they would hop on a truck and drive to markets in Caripe, the town in the state of Monagas where they lived, and other towns nearby. They felt that the trade would always bring them prosperity.
Hungry children in a classroom. Indigenous families in Delta Amacuro, in the eastern end of Venezuela, who only eat mangoes to make the little food they have stretch. A pandemic that is here to further complicate what was already complicated. Arlys Obdola transformed her business into a program that tries to mitigate the food crisis facing the country.
The Superintendence of Institutions of the Banking Sector froze the bank accounts of Alimenta la Solidaridad [Feed Solidarity], an organization that maintains 239 community kitchens in 14 states in the country, there where 25,000 at-risk children are provided with meals on a daily basis. Una sonrisa, Una esperanza [One Smile, One Hope] is one of 40 that operate in Petare, the largest slum in Latin America. It is coordinated by María Angélica, a 31-year-old woman who has always dreamed of being a cook and who, side by side with the community, has endeavored to keep the kitchens running.
Fay Ellen Hernandez lost one of her children to malnutrition, and she fears that one of her grandchildren, who is underweight, will share the same fate. Since the bag of food she receives every two months through the Local Supply and Production Committee is just five days’ worth of meals, the rest of the time she goes to great lengths to make sure that no one at home goes to bed without eating.
On August 15, 2017, Oswaldo Pellicer left his home in San Felipe, state of Yaracuy, searching for a spare part for the truck he operates as a driver. At about 6:00 in the afternoon, he told his family that he was on his way back. Almost three years later, they are still waiting for him.
Eliana Lucena created the Fundación Lucianita Valeska —a foundation that collects supplies for cancer patients at the Doctor Agustín Zubillaga Children’s Hospital in Barquisimeto, state of Lara. She did so driven by a life-altering experience.
Pablo suffered from hyperplasia of the prostate gland, a condition that caused him excruciating pain. The drugstores had run out of the painkillers that could provide him some relief. He needed to have surgery, but the family could not afford to pay for the operation. That is why Angélica, Pablo’s wife, decided to catch a plane to the United States. She would work there and try to raise the money they needed.
Gladys Mora lives in the Villa Bahía sector of Puerto Ordaz, south of Venezuela, with her granddaughters Daniela and Sofía. From the moment the girls have been under her care, Gladys does everything she can so that they go to school. The bureaucratic barriers she has encountered have not made a dent in her resolve.
Maryflor Gamboa traveled to Santa Elena de Uairén, deep in the south of Venezuela, to participate in an activity organized by a leadership program of which she made part. She played with the children of the indigenous community of Manak-Krü for an entire week. She earned their trust, made them laugh, and learned things about them that still echo in her mind.