For Mariu, “confidence” and “faith” aren’t just words, and they did not come easy. As a refugee from Venezuela, she and her family went from living comfortably and well-off to searching for food wherever they could find it. At one point, things got so bad that she and her husband would starve so they could feed their three little girls. They coped with their hunger by taking cheap pain medicines to mask the pain.
For many Venezuelans, long lines at grocery stores and supply shortages are not something new. It’s something they have endured for years as Venezuela has spiraled into collapse. But because of their experience, they have hope to stand on. Here is why Mariu can offer words of encouragement during the coronavirus pandemic.
“My experience with the situation in Venezuela with the scarcity of food was desperate. We would buy food and supplies as many times as we could to ensure we had food. We only cooked what was necessary, trying not to waste anything. We would wait in long lines in the rain and hot sun to get any food we could.
But I always think that we have to stay calm in any situation. What I have learned is to really have confidence and faith that everything will be fine. You will get through.”