Up to date, "there are around 1,200,000 Venezuelans on a regular and irregular status living in Colombia", said the president of the Association of Venezuelans in Colombia. This number has been increasing mainly over the last two years, due to the unfortunate economic and social crisis in Venezuela: lack of medicines, food and security. Cúcuta, Cartagena, Bogotá and Medellín are the cities that have received the largtest waves of people.
There is a noa group of Colombians whom are not very happy with this massive arrival of Venezuelans to their country. Increase on the unemployment rate and in some cases, practice of illegal activities are some of the main reasons this group of Colombians have not received the Venezuelans with open arms.
Nevertheless, whenever hard times come around, a helping hand is always welcome and needed. It is time for Colombians to look back and recall those years before the Chavez Era, when Venezuela was a prosperous, stable, wealthy and a welcoming nation, where they received a large quantity of Colombians running away from the war.
Isn't it possible to think they are not only Venezuelan citizens arriving to Colombia, but instead Colombian's offspring returning to their country too?
The message we want to share with all Colombians, is to think twice before cloing doors to a Venezuelan, or in general to any foreigner, to not have advantage of the situation and hire Venezuelans following the Colombian law and paying fair wages of what their job is worth. No one can know what the future holds and when hard times are coming, therefore opening our doors to foreingers in need, as one day we can also need help from our neighbors.
Ana Maria Garcia, Commercial Specialist