Julio 26, 2018 |  Script and video: Johanna Osorio and Yaikel Dorta

Jesus' Flight

10-year-old Jesus Longa crosses the Simon Bolivar bridge into Colombia every day with his father, Gustavo Longa. They both form part of a group of 1.3 million “pendular” migrants, who routinely cross the border.

The economic crisis in Venezuela has led Gustavo Longa to cross the border into Cucuta, Colombia every day in order to work as a shoe shiner. He is often accompanied on his trip by his ten-year-old son Jesus, who walks across the Simon Bolivar bridge with his father whenever his 5th grade classes are suspended; a situation ever-more frequent due to the exodus of Venezuela teachers.

Whilst his father works on a street in the border town of Villa del Rosario, Jesus waits in a tent in the migration area, where a human rights organisation offers shelter and education – in both academic subjects and in values – to those children arriving from Venezuela.

The two form part of a group known as “pendular migrants”, as they continuously cross to and from Venezuela. The total number of such migrants is currently estimated to be 1.3 million; they are not seeking to establish themselves in Colombia, but rather to meet basic needs such as buying food or getting medical attention, before returning to their own country. According to a report titled 'Radiografía Migratoria 2017', published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombia, 51% of these migrants are men and 49% women, with the majority between 18 and 39 years old.

There are also children, such as Jesus. Colombia Migration, up until December 2017, registered just over 141,000 minors entering and leaving the country every day. This is one of their stories.