The family were forced to move to Cúcuta when the Venezuelan government closed the border in August 2015. They lost all of their belongings, “We had to leave all our things behind. We came here to live because they would not sell us any food, anything… Coming here was horrible because it is very hard to work your whole life and having to leave it all behind— your house, your things… and the next day you wake up with nothing to wear, not even a toothbrush.”
Katherine is pregnant with her second child. However, what should be a reason for joy has quickly turned to fear as Katherine discovered she has been infected by the Zika virus. Her daughter Sharick has also been infected by the virus, as well as having what the doctors suspect to be a case of Guillain-Barré, a debilitating disease which causes temporary paralysis.
Sharick explains, “I couldn’t feel my feet. I couldn’t get up. They had to lift me up to take a chichí (urinate) because I couldn’t. Neither could I sit up. Now my head hurts a lot. That is why I almost never play at school, but rather sit and talk with my friend.”