A family stands on the roof of their apartment building.

Photo Journey

A New Home

An inside look into where migrants live after leaving home.

After leaving behind their home country, where most Venezuelan immigrants spent their entire lives, families are forced to start over. Migrants find new places to live wherever they can around the city. Some live night to night in different inquilinatos, while others live in rented apartments and others still find one-room homes to buy. In most cases there is not enough room for families to sleep comfortably.

A mother holds her three children on a bed in their one room home as light hits her face

Andrea Blanco Rondón holds her children (from left) Lilian, Elisa and Andres on their bed in a one room home in the Santo Domingo comuna in Medellín. The family of five (father not pictured) has a refrigerator, sink, bed and closet-sized bathroom that they all share. The family arrived from Venezuela 8 months ago and only recently found this house.

A woman wearing pink sits on her bed in a small rented room

Naiomi Martínez tells her story inside her one-room residence at a shelter on March 8, 2019 in Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia.

A family is seen on the roof of their apartment through hanging laundry

Deylena Barboza Chadin (middle), and her husband, Jonathan Freites Salazar, stand with their children (from left) Verónica, Luciano and Miranda on the roof of their apartment building. The family arrived two years ago and the parents have both made successful livings as a personal trainer and a soon-to-be lawyer. They live in a two bedroom apartment in a nicer part of the city.

A woman wearing a blue shirt looks down over her small rented room

Marisela Garcés poses for a portrait by her bed in a one-room residence at a shelter on March 8, 2019 in Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia.

A mother holding her baby is reflected in a window overlooking a city skyline

Maríangel Castillo holds her baby, Carla, as she looks out the window of her apartment that overlooks downtown. Mariangel, her husband and their two kids share a two bedroom apartment with another family. Each family has one bedroom to themselves and shares the common areas. She migrated from Venezuela and then returned to have her baby before coming back to Colombia because she wanted Carla to have Venezuelan citizenship.

A family lounges in their small rented room in an unkempt hallway

(From left) Yuneda Nelo, Jonelle Gabedes, Carlos Gabedes and Michael Sanchez sit in their small room they rented of the night in an inquilinato, a shelter where bare-bone furnished rooms are rented on a nightly basis. The building has dozens of rooms that are on a first-come, first-serve basis and are often destinations for Venezuelan migrants at night with no cheaper alternative. This family arrived in Medellín only ten days before this photo was taken.

Living Day to Day

Friends create a home in Inquilinato

Living in a tiny room, many Venezuelans in Colombia spend the night in places known as inquilinatos, small rooms that can be rented out daily. For about $10 USD, boarders have a place to lay their heads at night. Most rooms offer only a small bed, a dresser and a TV. Hundreds of Venezuelans who have made their way to Colombia find themselves living in such places because they cannot afford to rent out proper homes.
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