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The unwilling homeless: The story of the LatinAmerican apatrides. Venezuela's brain drain or how it feels to belong nowhere

Venezuela has gone through an unprecedented brain drain caused by an ongoing acute economic and social crisis. How does it feel to be an attorney and starting all over at 40 as a janitor. What happens with the sense of family when your brothers and sisters span the globe? Where do you belong when home is no longer an option?

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  • Aug 2 2013: I know advice seems not much at this time but it will get better.

    1. You have to make where you are your home. I know you will feel lonely especially at special times but you need to fight and make where ever you are "home."
    2. Phone calls do not take the place of being together but for a brief moment you are together. with skype, you can also see each other
    3. starting over after moving to a new country is a frequent story. I know of a doctor who became an orderly in the US. Because of his age and language problems, he could not pass the exam to be a doctor.
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    Aug 1 2013: I am not sure that anyone who was ever homeless was homeless willingly - but maybe.
    But it is a huge opportunity. It's like hitting the reset button and getting a second chance.
    You do have to grieve your previous life before you can embrace the new one. Not belonging is exciting. The entire world is yours to choose from.
    Also realize that you take with you all the values and strengths you always had. So your work ethic remains, your writing and organizational abilities remain.
    I took it as an opportunity to learn something new. Something I knew nothing about. Now I help people in similar circumstances and were it not for that training, I would not be as good at what I do now. Learn what you can from the experience. It will serve you well.
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    Jul 29 2013: This question is absurd. The Caribbean, Africa, and much of Latin America has been facing brain drain for decades.
    You belong wherever it is you feel comfortable making a life for you and your family.
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    Jul 27 2013: People around the globe are running from one economic crisis or from political upheaval, brain drains are everywhere but Venezuela with it's resources should have ridden through unscathed, yet this is not the case. I know doctors that are taxi drivers, paramedics that are painters and once a nuclear physicist as a laborer. People will do what they have to do and if they have found that the country they thought they have moved to was not what they thought due to job protection policies and out right lies then they have no recourse.

    I once admired Chavez until he didn't step down.
  • Jul 27 2013: Wait this is political I know there are disagreements in Venezuela. But tell us more.
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    Jul 27 2013: I know you will get many replies from those who either had to leave, or chose to leave their homes, who lost a job or career they expected to hold for their whole working lives, or who have found their families disbursed.

    I think you may come to realize that home is you, your values, and your loved ones, even when you are physically separated from them. The changes you did not choose still give you a chance to offer different parts of yourself at different times in your life.

    No one can take from you what you have learned and what you understand. You may well find creative ways of using your greatest strengths in a new context.

    Remember your strengths are many and that you may well find opportunities to find satisfaction in some which until now you have deemphasized.