In the midst of a fraying social fabric, a deep recession and soaring inflation, Venezuelans are fighting to live through their country's economic crisis. Some are smuggling goods in from other nations, and some are giving away their children in hopes the kids could have a better life.
One of those parents is Zulay Pulgar, who struggled to feed herself and her seven children on her father's pension, worth $6 a month at the black market rate. She asked a neighbor in October to take over care of her six-year-old daughter, NBC News reported.
"It's better that she has another family than go into prostitution, drugs or die of hunger," the 43-year-old unemployed mother said, sitting outside her dilapidated home with her five-year-old son, father and unemployed husband.
The country's prices for many basic goods are surpassing those in the United States. And with average wages less than the equivalent of $50 a month at black market rates, three local councils and four national welfare groups all confirmed an increase in parents handing children over to the state, charities or friends and family.