Raíces Venezolanas, or Venezuelan Roots, gives household items and a heavy dose of moral support to immigrant families showing up in South Florida.
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Venezuelan immigrants start lining up at a storage facility in the Miami neighborhood of Doral every Friday afternoon. After they complete a survey, a team of volunteers guides them through a series of storage units, where they can select from toys, sheets, electronics, holiday decorations, clothes, and other household items.
“This is your new house in this country—it’s the beginning of your future, and that’s why you have to give a touch of love,” says human rights activist and Venezuelan expatriate Patricia Andrade, who started the nonprofit that oversees this operation in 2016.
Andrade pays most of the expenses—including rent on the storage units—for Raíces Venezolanas, or “Venezuelan Roots,” herself.
“When I come to this place and I meet the families,” she says, “I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Produced by Claudia Murray and Jim Epstein. Audio post-production by Ian Keyser. Subtitles by María José Inojosa Salina. Thumbnail by Lex Villena.
Music: “Abakua” and “I Feel Sad” by Scanglobe used under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Creative Commons License; “Sadie” by Adam Henry Garcia used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives Creative Commons License.