Colchane, Chile – Allyson’s respiration grows heavier as she advances alongside the casual border crossing, making her method throughout the huge, high-altitude wetland the place Bolivia fades into Chile.
Accustomed to dwelling with an sickness that afflicts her lungs, the 5-year-old woman speaks in a low, gravelly voice that just about sounds grownup: “We got here to Chile for my surgical procedure and work.”
The younger woman and her household are among the many tens of hundreds of Latin American migrants and asylum seekers who’ve braved the highland plateau, with its excessive temperatures, for a brand new life in Chile. Lately, the nation has turn out to be a major hub for migration — and a substitute for locations just like the United States.
However the journey is troublesome, and the Chilean authorities has ramped up efforts to shut its borders to undocumented arrivals. Nonetheless, for refugees and migrants like Allyson, who hails from Bolivar, Venezuela, the voyage can spell the distinction between life and dying.
“Within the hospital, we have been informed to go away as a result of in Venezuela they couldn’t remedy me if I bought sick once more,” she explains, panting because the path takes her throughout one of many world’s highest borders, greater than 4,000 metres above sea stage.