A Venezuelan man who lost his left leg in a traffic accident has walked to the bottom tip of South America, hoping to inspire his daughter and his compatriots to pursue their dreams despite difficult times.
Yeslie Aranda left his Venezuelan hometown of San Cristobal in the southwestern state of Táchira last year with a backpack, $30 in his pocket and an aluminum prosthesis that enabled him to negotiate the continent’s rugged roads.
On Saturday, the 57-year-old braved freezing temperatures and marched into the picturesque town of Ushuaia, which is surrounded by snowcapped mountains and known as the world’s southernmost city.
“I am living my dream,” Aranda said, as he headed toward a sign that welcomes visitors to ‘the end of the world.’ “My message to people is to pursue their own dreams, and conquer them as well.”
Aranda, a former bus driver, is making his journey as thousands of his compatriots leave their crisis-wracked country out of desperation. But Aranda said his own trip has a different raison d’être: To be a source of inspiration for others after an accident in which he almost lost his life.