Venezuela Today – Got Preps?

This article appeared in the Daily Mail on January 15, 2015 and it shows specifically what happens when a nations currency is mistreated. Venezuela is an oil exporting country and with the price of oil falling off a cliff, their national economy has been devastated. The more resourceful people are taking matters into their own hands – AFTER THE FACT. What if these people had been prepared for such a situation? What if, on a weekly basis, instead of buying one of X item, they had bought two or even three? Instead of being forced to stand in line to restock their supplies, they could be paying someone to stand in line to restock their new business. If you notice in the photos and video there is no rioting, there is no one actin-a-fool, just people trying to get through the day and get some supplies; that’s all they are doing. Would this happen in the US or would the people lose what little of their mind they have left? Got preps for barter or sell? By KHALEDA RAHMAN, Daily Mail.co.uk Shortages of basic goods in crisis-hit Venezuela has created a lucrative new profession… queuing to buy things for other people.

The country is experiencing a recession triggered in part by a scarcity of hard currency – which limits imports of essential goods.

As a result, there are shortages of nearly a third of all basic goods and as well as tumbling oil prices, inflation ballooned to 64% last year.

Krisbell Villarroel is one of many people who make a living by waiting in line to buy everything from milk and sugar to diapers and shampoo.

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Falling oil prices and shortages of goods in crisis-hit Venezuela has created a lucrative new profession. Pictured, nearly empty shelves at a supermarket in Caracas

Falling oil prices and shortages of goods in crisis-hit Venezuela has created a lucrative new profession. Pictured, nearly empty shelves at a supermarket in Caracas

Many people now make a living queuing to buy basics for those who can afford to hire someone to wait in line. Pictured, lines outside a supermarket due to a long term shortage in Caracas, Venezuela

Many people now make a living queuing to buy basics for those who can afford to hire someone to wait in line. Pictured, lines outside a supermarket due to a long term shortage in Caracas, Venezuela

She then sells the products to clients who pay her for the time she spends standing in queues.

The 22-year-old single mother of two small children in Caracas, told AFP: ‘Every day, I have to get up at two in the morning and call my friends to find out where things are for sale or what is for sale.

‘That is how I spend my day. I get out of the first line at 10:00 am and then perhaps go to another to see what they are selling.

‘In one store, I might get milk, sugar or coffee, but in another – flour, rice, diapers or shampoo.’

She said her customers are families who do not have the time or really the need to wait in line, such as business people who can afford to pay someone else to do it for them.

Each day, she makes between 600 and 1,200 bolivars per shopping assignment (which is 3.6 to 7.1 dollars at the black market exchange rate).

She earns at least 13,200 bolivars a month (about $80) by reselling items to her customers – more than some university professors make.