Experts believe that Venezuela was badly affected by a hyperinflation rate of 80,000 per cent in 2018 and the situation is only getting worse. The economic downfall of Venezuela began in 2010 under the governance of President Hugo Chavez and it remained the same during the term of Nicolas Maduro. For ease of transactions, Maduro introduced a new currency called Bolivar Soberanos or sovereign bolivar by truncating five zeros from the original Bolivar in August 2018. Banknotes of denominations such as 2-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-Bolívares Soberanos were released. However, they are already worthless now due to increasing inflation.
Almost 20,000 people from Venezuela come to Colombia every day to buy basic necessities. Since the worthless bolívares cannot be used in any other way, local artists are making origami products such as purses, model cars, birds, baskets etc. using these notes.
One of the artists uses 1,000 notes, worth 100,000 bolivares to make handbags. These notes can be exchanged in Cucuta for 17 U.S. cents but he sells the handbag for $13. His products are priced according to the amount of effort that goes into making the items and not according to the value of banknotes that are used to make them. Another artist picks up the notes from the streets to make handbags. He is also making a carnival costume for his daughter using these banknotes. A graphic designer makes drawings of current events, tourist spots and cartoons on the notes with marker and nail polish. Some of his works have been sold for $100. Many interesting products are also being sold through Etsy website.
Image Courtesy: Google Images