MiamiHerald / They left their jobs, homes and all their worldly possessions behind, and now have to beg on the streets all day just to gather enough coins to sleep under a roof at night. But many Venezuelan immigrants in Colombia still say they are better off than they were before they crossed the border.

“Venezuela… I wouldn’t wish it on even my worst enemy,” a teary-eyed Luis Alfredo Rivas, 32, told el Nuevo Herald at a bus terminal in Bogotá, where he had just arrived from the neighboring country.

Rivas explained how he made the decision to leave. “Venezuela’s minimum wage is only 190,000 bolivars per week, when a kilogram of rice costs 210,000 bolivars. What can I do there?” he asked.

“My plan is to be here, to work and to move ahead and if I can, to bring my family over, too, to get them out of that hell,” he said.

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