Venezuela in crisis: “If you are lucky, you eat twice a day”

Venezuela is going through one of the worst economic crisis it has faced in decades. With oil prices at an all-time low, the country is largely unable to pay for and import essential food items or medicines and while the government denies there is a problem and refuses to ask for international aid, people are struggling to make ends meet in the midst of rising malnutrition and a healthcare crisis.

In one of the countries with the largest oil reserves in the world, shopping for food can be a daunting, almost impossible, task.

It’s Tuesday afternoon in Guarenas, a small city some 30–minutes by car from central Caracas, Venezuela’s capital.

Esperanza, a 59-year-old grandmother, stands in line patiently with an expression that combines hope and desperation on her face. The relentless heat does not seem to deter her. She arrived at the supermarket long before dawn to ensure she could buy something to feed her family. A couple of dozen people stand in front of her. Confusion reigns -- no one knows what the supermarket will offer today, or if they will be able to buy anything at all.

In some areas of the country this uncertainty and desperation has turned into protests and looting.