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Escaping destiny

Right in the middle of the famously known salt desert of Uyuni, these men were working with bricks and building what it looked to be a rural building. At first they appeared to be silent and not very tourist-friendly, but as I kept talking, they relaxed and started engaging in a curious conversation. They asked me where I was from. Right after my answer, they directly went to the typical question a Bolivian would ask any foreigner, “¿Hay trabajo en tu país?” (Is there any work in your country?). Because I didn't have enough time to explain the huge economic and political crisis Venezuela is going through at the moment, I just suggested them maybe it was not the best time to immigrate there. They clearly showed a discontent with their current living conditions in Bolivia, and were just waiting for the right moment to jump ship and go work in a nearby country. Bolivians are normally used to escaping the country´s poverty and lack of opportunities by moving abroad and seeking employment in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Brazil. They are regionally known as the illegal aliens of South America. Having myself the chance to look at the massive poverty and lack of development all over southern Bolivia, I can only say these people's employment options lie between working in the uncannily dangerous mine fields, or fleeing to another country in search of a better life and facing the risks of being caught by immigration. None of them should be their only choice.

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