As a harrowing economic crisis makes food scarce for millions of Venezuelans, many families cannot buy their children Christmas presents, decorate their home, or even host a holiday dinner.
The oil-rich country is suffering the third year of a recession that has sparked product shortages and galloping inflation. With a recent currency depreciation pumping up prices even higher, some parents are simply canceling Christmas.
“Last year I bought everything for my daughter,” said Dileida Palacios, a 40-year-old hairdresser dressed in black to mourn her son killed in crime-rife Venezuela a few weeks ago.
“This year I had to tell her everything is tough and Santa Claus isn’t coming.”