In February of 2018, after hyperinflation drastically diluted his salary, José Alejandro Castro’s father migrated to Peru. The rest of the family would follow suit some time later. José Alejandro was the only one left in Ciudad Guayana, strongly determined to graduate as a bachelor of social communication from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB) campus in Guayana.
Gabriela Sanchez thought she could never get pregnant again. One day, though, she found out she was expecting her second child. She and her husband decided to name him Gael Isaac. They only had him for a few hours. A woman dressed as a nurse walked into the room at the University Hospital in Mérida and snatched the baby away from them.
El mayor apremio de Yair López y su hermana Leonela, habitantes del pueblo de San Juan de Colón, estado Táchira, era conseguir medicinas para evitar que le amputaran un pie a su padre. En eso estaban el día en que entre ellos se instaló una desgracia que no pudieron prever.
During José Luis Guerra’s childhood, uncle Raúl was a source of puzzlement… and fear. More often than not, he would wake up to Raúl’s screaming. Raúl was a man who drank chlorine and hid onions and tomatoes in his trouser pockets, which he would eat as if they were fruit. In this firsthand account written for the #SeedbedOfStorytellers of La Vida de Nos, José describes how his uncle’s schizophrenia marked his family forever.
At dawn on March 13, 2019, when Mérida was seven days into the first blackout that had stricken the entire nation, Professor Nilsa Gulfo, who is also a journalist, received a phone call from Maracaibo, Zulia, with the news that her brother Guillermo had just died. Saying goodbye to him turned into the first-hand painful obstacle course that she shares in this story.
The first cohort of candidates to a bachelor’s degree in Social Communication at the Mérida campus of the Universidad de Los Ándes began classes in July of 2016. It was made up of 25 students. Three years later, there are only eight left. Paula Rangel is one of them. In this photostory from the #SeedbedOfStorytellers of La Vida de Nos, Paula describes how the classrooms she studies in have been emptying out.
Henry spends much of his time helping his neighbors in Caucagüita —the parish in the Sucre municipality, state of Miranda, where he lives— and maintaining a soup kitchen that provides food to about fifty-seven children on a daily basis. This he does as a way of keeping his mind away from a shadow that looms over his own life.
Florelys Linares was 18 years old and was studying education at the University of Carabobo. Having heard rumors that the university would be privatized, she —just like some of her fellow students— took to the streets to voice her disagreement. She was riding a student bus when her life took a different turn.
On June 29, 2017, a group of students from the Simón Bolívar University was detained in El Rosal by police officers who were repressing a protest march that had been called for in Caracas. The images of their arrest and subsequent transfer inside the closed cargo section of a truck were circulated on social media. The students would be released a few days later without charges. One year after the events, Patricia Rodríguez, one of the students in question, gives La vida de nos her account of her experience.
La vida de nos Itinerante aims to train storytellers through a process of intensive several-day workshops held in the regions themselves and equip them with journalistic and narrative skills to discover and write meaningful stories that tell the country’s current state of affairs and how this crisis is endured in their respective regions.