March 27, 2005

Tales of Bolivian Immigrants in Europe

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Sobering tales from Bolivians who emigrate to England, France and Spain. The newspaper El Deber, published a series of articles on the stories of some Bolivians who emigrate to these countries in search of work and better living conditions.

One story goes like this: A 29 year old cruceno woman leaves her 7 year old son to go to find work in London. She cannot take her son with her so she leaves him behind in the care of the grand mother.

Another story: Marlene Cruz, an undocumented Bolivian woman working in Madrid, rents a sofa for six hours, so she can lay down and rest after she earned Euro 25 per day cleaning offices.

Another one: Jose Serrano, pays Euro 5 in advanced so he can sleep in a bed for seven hours. He approaches the bed and wakes the person sleeping before him. Serrano confesses "We don't look at each other because of shame......"

Stories like these are all too common among undocumented Bolivian immigrants around Europe.

According to the El Deber story, the government of Bolivia, instead of helping Bolivians may even be harming the only chances of Bolivians living in Spain to obtain a work permit and thus make their lives a lot easier.

El Deber's series of articles are eye opening and very sobering.