MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Michael Capponi, a former South Beach nightlife promoter who has run emergency supply missions to Haiti and Guatemala, is now focusing his work on the Colombia-Venezuela border.
After returning to Miami International Airport on Wednesday, Capponi said the need is dire.
"There are mothers with children who have nowhere to sleep," Capponi, 46, said.
Most of the Venezuelans crossing the border gather what they need and return to Venezuela, but every day thousands decide to stay in Colombia. Some are on their way to other South American countries.
"It looks exactly like at the end of a Super Bowl; everyone is rushing out," Capponi said. "That’s how quickly people are literally walking across the bridge and they have a bag and that’s it."
Santi Chumaceiro, the president of I Love Venezuela, said they need more corporate donations of food and supplies, before heading back to the Colombia-Venezuela border in a few weeks.
There is hope that the political change in Venezuela could allow the humanitarian aid to get to Venezuela, but that is uncertain. The nonprofit organizations are among a network in the U.S. that is preparing for the possibility. The nonprofits need donations.
A staggering inflation in Venezuela and shortages of food, medication and basic medical equipment have created a growing economic crisis. Capponi and Chumaceiro have also partnered with Motorrad Angels, a group of volunteers delivering medical assistance.