Astrid Liden- Laidlaw Summer 2020

In my video, I discuss the research I did on the Venezuelan migration crisis and the experiences of families, specifically women and children. I also discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the Venezuelan diaspora, and I look forward to continuing this work!

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For the past few weeks, I have had the great opportunity to engage in research on the Venezuelan migration crisis, a crisis that has seen 5 million people, almost 15% of Venezuela’s population, leave the country. With the spread of COVID-19, Venezuelan migrants who have had to flee by foot/bus find themselves in troubling situations. In light of the pandemic, many are actually returning to Venezuela, despite the reasons they left to begin with. In the recent months, there has been a trend of more young Venezuelans, many with families or hoping to reunite with their families, crossing borders. My project examines the experiences of these families in the evolution of the migration/refugee crisis through political actions by countries, international response, personal narratives, and the worsening crisis of COVID-19 in Latin America on Venezuelan migrants and those coming back to the nation.

Astrid Liden

Student, Columbia University

I am a rising sophomore at Columbia University where I study Human Rights and Latin American studies, with a focus on migration. My research focuses on the Venezuelan Migration crisis, the second-largest mass exodus in the world behind the Syrian refugee crisis. I will be looking at the evolution of Venezuela, as a country of immigrants to a country to emigrants, caused by the humanitarian crisis facing the nation today. My focus is on the effects of the crisis and the experiences of women, children, and families who face some of the greatest difficulties. Exploring data and accounts from surrounding Latin American nations like Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru as well as high-income European nations like Spain and Italy, I will be investigating the evolution of the family structure in Venezuelan migrant and refugee communities as well as the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic on resources, experiences, and for many, the forced return journey to Venezuela.