The resilience in Venezuelans upcycling cash
However small the banknote crafts made and sold by Venezuelan emigrants, the message they send is a powerful one. The resilience of cash, and that of those using it wisely, is sparking hope during a time when nothing else is certain.
Venezuelan migrants in Colombia are giving their devalued currency a new lease of life by recycling near-worthless bolivars into artworks.
Food and job shortages have spurred more than three million Venezuelans to emigrate since 2015.
But migrants from the country in the Colombian city of Cucuta have tapped into their creative power to make a living by folding notes into model cars, swans, handbags and purses. The handicrafts are then sold on stalls at a significant markup from the bolivar’s black market value.
This isn't the first time local forces have turned to cash to deal with the nation's crippling economy. Last year, one mayor began issuing a community currency to help stimulate his town's commerce.
President Maduro, like many crypto-crazed leaders before him, has tried to make Venezuela go cashless with the fantasy of running a national digital currency. Instead, the allegedly oil-backed Petro has failed in gaining the trust of its people and instead brought on an onslaught of criticism from the National Union of Workers who see forcing them to go cashless as a constitutional right's violation.