Nine-year-old Luigi and his 11-year-old brother Luis Fernando carry a heavy bucket filled with sand from one side of the cemetery to another.
They jump and run over musty graves overgrown with grass, trying not to fall into the open tombs. They are not here for fun. They are here for work.
Every weekday, Luigi and Luis Fernando march down the hills of Guarenas - a poor community east of the Venezuelan capital Caracas - to help their father Dixon, who has worked his entire life at the local cemetery. He earns the minimum wage of $2 per month. That’s not nearly enough money to provide for his children.
The boys and their father are among the millions of Venezuelans affected by food and medicine shortages, lack of jobs, and runaway inflation stemming from the political and economic crisis. It’s caused the largest displacement of people ever in the Western Hemisphere - more than 4.9 million have fled Venezuela to find work, food, healthcare, education, and a better life in surrounding countries.
Around 3.2 million children are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations’ Regional Humanitarian Plan.
On top of the economic crisis, vulnerable children like Luigi and Luis Fernando face the threat of Coronavirus. In a country where the health system has collapsed, hospitals are ill-equipped to care for even basic needs, let alone an unknown virus. This pandemic threatens to compound an already dire situation for the brothers, their family, and millions of vulnerable Venezuelans.