July 31, 2001
9:21 AM   Subscribe

New web site helps Venezuelans emigrate. The website www.mequieroir.com, which means "I want to leave" in Spanish, offers advice on foreign visa regulations, work permits and even culture and climate for citizens of whatever age who are considering emigrating. Its pages cite recent opinion polls that show that more than 30 percent of Venezuela's 24 million inhabitants would emigrate if they had the opportunity.
posted by 120degrees (5 comments total)
Jeez, what's so bad about Venezuela that so many people want to leave? Excuse my ignorance of third-world life; I am a child of (relative) privilege, and what little bit I know of greater Latin America I experienced during a trip to Costa Rica. By the way, I find it amazingly commendable that Costa Rica has a 95% literacy rate. That's almost as good as the 97% literacy rate here in the US. By comparison, Venezuela's literacy rate is 91%.
posted by msacheson at 10:29 AM on July 31, 2001

Hi msacheson - here's a Tico speaking. Hope you enjoyed your visit here.

Yes, we have a 95% literacy rate... and one of the biggest number of road accident ocurrences in the whole Latin America. In fact that's the main slogan for a nationwide campaign looking to diminish such number of casualties.

As far as the inmigration theme goes, well I may say it is a Latin American-wide problem. Even here in CR where we could arguably say have a slightly more stable economic and political climate than most Latin American countries, you can face a hard time trying to eke out a living if you're not on the tourism or mass industry fields (I've always yearned to pursue a career in animation, and for me to do that I should have to move elsewhere).

The aforementioned site doesn't look like only Venezuela-oriented: seems to cover just about anyone that speaks Spanish and wants to get out... or something.
posted by betobeto at 12:54 PM on July 31, 2001

Costa Rica is sort of a "poster child" of central america, msacheson. For an alternate view, you could have headed Northwest for a few hours and checked out Nicaragua.

Costa Rica abolished its military in 1949 and has enjoyed a strong economy based on coffee, bananas, and now tourism. It is stable and rich, compared to the countries around it.

Venezuela isn't as nice, from what I hear. Caracas, the capital, is known for its violent crime. I knew a kid who lived a few blocks from a girl, but he couldn't visit her because it was too dangerous to walk to her house. A quick search on Google for caracas crime turns up some interesting results. 30 violent deaths in one weekend? Hm...
posted by whatnotever at 1:05 PM on July 31, 2001

I like the fact that they're agnostic about destination -- with Australia, Canada, and Spain on the front page as well as the USA. Then they have you fill out a quiz ensuring that leaving is really something you're ready and willing to do.

What's so bad about Venezuela? Do we have to assume that it's out-and-out bad? People move within the US all the time, and we don't automatically say (for example) that California's a bad place to live, just because it's experiencing a net state-to-state migration deficit right now. The truth is that the whole world is becoming more mobile, and with free-trade zones everywhere, and increasing multi-national business, people sometimes move for very simple reasons. And the movement of people is non-stop, indeed, in some ways more natural than settling down for a very long time. The history of language and culture shows us that people have moved across wide spaces of their continents for a very long time, and crossed the seas when convenient. I think it would be healthier to assume that people moving from country to country is natural and in the long run good for them and at least the destination country. This website does seem to take that idea to heart.
posted by dhartung at 5:42 PM on July 31, 2001

There are some testimonials on the site that show some interesting, different points of view - from the best to the worst experiences about going elsewhere to do a living. "Your mileage may vary" seems much of an appropriate slogan for this...
posted by betobeto at 9:33 AM on August 1, 2001

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