Venezuelan inflation: Locals take to sewing currency bags | World | News


The Latin American nation’s currency has spiralled out of control after losing 87 percent of its value against the euro.

Bolivar notes are often seen littering the streets, due to it low value.

And now 25-year-old street vendor Wilmer Rojas is making and selling origami-inspired handbags, baskets, hats and purses out of the cash.

Father-of-three Mr Rojas said: “People throw them away because they are no good to buy anything. No one even accepts them anymore.”

“You can use magazine paper or newspaper pulp, but currency notes are better because they are not worth anything.”

Mr Rojas would rather use money to avoid spending time cutting them. 

He said: “These things are no good for buying anything. At least I am putting them to good use rather than throwing them away.”

The Bolivar is worth so little that “you can’t even buy a piece of candy” with two, five and 10 Bolivar notes, according to Mr Rojas.

A hat made of hundreds of Bolivar notes, is only worth the cost of a packet of cigarettes.

Mr Rojas sells some of his designs for 300,000 bolivars, which can buy a kilo of meat.

Jose Leon, 26, takes a different creative approach.

He draws Star Wars character faces over the picture of Simon Bolivar and other well-known Venezuelans who feature on the notes. 

Tourists pay him up to £14 for a single piece of “money art,” almost a 5,000 per cent increase of the note’s value, according to the designer.

Thousands from Venezuela are trying to flee to Colombia in an attempt to get away from the poverty and increasing crime rate triggered by the nation’s economic crisis.

Colombia, along with its neighbour Brazil, has deployed extra soldiers to secure their border after they took over half a million migrants in the second half of 2017.

Border tightening controls are also being implemented in a bid to control the crisis.

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