Felix dreams of winning a gold medal
in an international competition.

He and his mother escaped the violence in Colombia.

Felix is 16-years old young Colombian refugee who lives with his mother in Mérida state, Venezuela, at the border with Colombia. He is a committed and passionate athlete who dreams of winning a gold medal in the South American U18 Championship in Argentina. To do this, he trains every day in the Metropolitan Stadium in 100mtr and 200mtr speed discipline.

Felix and his mother were forced to leave their home in Colombia when Felix had 6 years old. I still remember how dangerous was for us living in a town with armed groups. Gang members distributed pamphlets under the doors of the neighbors. They threatened us several times saying that everyone has to leave the neighborhood or something bad will happen to the people who stay. They were many killing and kidnaps in the city. We were scared and we had to leave” he states.

For more than three years, Felix and his mother Ana have been living in this shelter provided by the Venezuelan authorities. Ana, who encourages his son to pursue his dream, was an athlete as well when she was young and run several 200 meters competitions. “My boy inherited my passion for the sports, so I decided to support him in everything I can”, she tells. After high school Felix also wants to study at the university to become a chemical engineer and make an income to support his mother Ana. I would like to give her back everything she has done for me,” he remarks.


Julio, 16-years old young Colombian refugee , trains at the Merida’s Metropolitan Stadium in Venezuela. ©ACNUR /Pro S Films


Julio and her mother Ana stand in the Merida’s Metropolitan Stadium in Venezuela. Ana was also an Athlete when she was young and Julio inherited her passion for running, she supports him in everything he needs. ©ACNUR /Pro S Films


Julio’s coach gives instructions to Julio and other young athletes before the training. ©ACNUR /Pro S Films


Julio´s dream is winning a gold medal in the South American U18 Championship in Argentina. He train daily to achieve his dream. ©ACNUR /Pro S Films


Julio is doing his daily warming up routine before running. “To be disciplined is one of the characteristics an athlete must have”, remarks Julio. ©ACNUR /Pro S Films


Julio takes a moment to concentrate before start running. ©ACNUR /Pro S Films


Julio sits at the stadium where he trains every day for 100 and 200m speed discipline. ©ACNUR /Pro S Films

Felix wants to make Venezuelan people proud of his achievements. “Since I was a child, in 2006, I had an outstanding mark in lower categories and I even had an outstanding performance competing in the athletics championship in Merida state in the 80 m and 150 m junior category. If have the opportunity to compete, I will prove my talent” he guarantees.

Written by Irma Alvarez
Video by Pro S Films

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The regular crossing of Colombian refugees to Venezuela is perceived to have dropped significantly in the last two years. Despite the peace talk developments in Colombia, UNHCR continues to detect dispersed settlements of persons in need of international protection with quality refugee claims.

The main focus of UNHCR’s operations is to promote effective solutions for all those in need of international protection. Being documented offers security and access to rights and livelihoods in Venezuela.

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