Amid galloping inflation and persistent economic meltdown, the Venezuelan Bolívar has become so worthless that artisans have tried to make value of it by using it to make purses.
This comes as the Bolivar becomes so worthless that the minimum wage can’t even afford a bottle of Coca-Cola, which by the way, is in short supply in the Latin American country.
Following the unpalatable situation, artisans have taken to turning the colorful Bolívar bills into a purse than to spend them anything.
Alvaro Rivera and other artisans in one Colombian town along the Venezuelan border are using the once mighty Bolívar as raw material to make handbags, bird sculptures and other intriguing objects.
The largest handbag Rivera sells on the streets of Cucuta is painstakingly woven from 1,000 individual bills totalling 100,000 Bolívares. Astonishingly, the value of that cash at money exchange houses in Cucuta is 17 cents.
A measure of the creativity of the artisans is expressed in the price of the bag, which goes for $13.
“The price of the work has nothing to do with how many bills I use,” Rivera said. “What I’m selling is the art.”
Venezuela’s economic collapse has been so deep that the Central Bank has stopped publishing most economic data, even if the country’s congress says annual inflation hit 24,600% in May.
The MiamiHerald reports that to feed a family of five for a month costs 20 times the monthly minimum wage.
As a result of the crisis, millions of Venezuelans have fled the country, often to neighboring Colombia, to escape hunger and get their hands on any currency other than the Bolívar.
And the situation isn’t likely to be ameliorated as President Nicolas Maduro, who many blame for the collapse of the once influential country – was re-elected to a second term earlier this year.