Volunteers pack aid boxes for Venezuela

Gloria Requena remembers feeling helpless when hearing about her family’s struggles back home in Venezuela.

So she and more than a hundred others from the tristate area decided to take matters into their own hands.

“Here we are fixing the boxes and getting the boxes ready,” said Requena. “I’m doing this because I need to help my country, I need to help my people.”

At El Cocotero restaurant in Jersey City volunteers have come together to pack boxes full of food, first aid kits and other supplies to send to Venezuela, even though their efforts may be unsuccessful.

Over the weekend Venezuelan security forces fired tear gas on protesters who were trying to deliver humanitarian aid from nearby countries.

“We have to do what we have to do. Either way they try to stop us now, the whole world see what happens, we know people are dying in Venezuela and we continue to fight,” said volunteer Robert Gonzalez.

This comes at U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spent Monday in Colombia meeting with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

The U.S. is brainstorming new ways to help Venezuelans and put pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to give up power. From Jersey City, a truck will take all the boxes to Florida.

Then, the boxes will make their way to the Colombia-Venezuela border. The volunteers hope the supplies will be delivered sometime next week.