On foot or bike, that is how people move in a town from the oil state Zulia

There's no public transportation due to the lack of fuel in San Francisco, a town in the Zulia state. People have severe difficulties in mobilizing, even to buy food.

Zulia Venezuela
People in San Francisco must walk a lot due to the lack of gasoline and cash. Photo by Francisco Rincón.

In San Francisco, a city located in the Zulia state, a rich oil zone in Venezuela, hundreds of people are forcing to walk every time they must go out to by food or get medical attention.

The lack of gasoline and the ban on public transportation as a measure to prevent the COVID-19 increased the price of passage, and the routes that covered the popular sectors no longer circulate.

In this scenario, those who go out must walk up to six kilometers to reach their destinations. “I can wait three hours or more and not a soul walk around. Not even cars to ask for a ride,” a pharmacy worker said.

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The few cars that circulate, mostly trucks and van, charge the passage in 100.000 bolivares, -almost one dollar- which represents the third part of the minimum salary in Venezuela.

“The passage is too expensive, and I get it because there is no fuel. I have to get on any car that works as public transportation, risking my life. Usually, I have to walk because I don’t have many options. I have blisters in my feet, and the next day I can hardly get up. I’m too old for this,” tell Rita Paez, an old woman who works as a cashier in a grocery store.

Others, as well as young and older people, are using bikes. And they complain about the high prices of spare parts, for example, a pump can cost a whole salary.

In San Francisco, there is also the moto-taxis. The short ride can cost 50.000 bolivares, and some drives accept food as payment. Due to the lack of cash, everybody haggles the price.

“Once in a while passengers arrive, carrying heavy bags, walking from far away, everybody haggles the prices because everything is too expensive. Some arrive so tiredly, almost passing out. We almost always give them a hand,” a moto-driver next to a church said.

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