An more than a million Venezuelans are living in Colombia after fleeing the economic and political crisis at home.
While most are fighting to rebuild their lives, a few have become inspiration living out dreams they never thought possible.
Alexander Beja, 22, was working at a bakery in his hometown Maracay, Venezuela when he decided to leave.
Human Rights Watch says around 200 Venezuelans set out daily on foot from the Venezuela-Colombia border to reach their destination. Beja was one of them.
“It took three weeks on foot. I spent one week trapped in the cold, Paramo region. And although it sounds terrible, and it was, I was surrounded by music and joy all the way,” Beja said.
It is Beja’s love of music that is helping him write a new verse in his life.
He began singing on the streets to make anywhere from $8-$12 a day to survive.
Until fate would have it, a famous Mexican pop singer Mario Domm, heard Beja singing outside a restaurant.
When Beja began singing one of Domm’s songs he was moved to tears.
“I didn’t just sing for money, I sing to share my story my music with people, and It made me so happy to be able to share with Mario Domm a feeling through music,” Beja said.
With an influx of 1.4 million Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, there are many stories of heartache but also of dreams coming true.
Another Venezuelan migrant, Reymar Perdomo, also shot to stardom. Her hit song “Me Fui” means “I left” in English.
The song tells the story of her odyssey, and it went viral. It has been re-recorded by Sony artists.
And Beja promises to be the next musical star.
Domm has now invited Beja to Mexico, to record with his pop group at the end of September.
“I think the idea is to attack this battle not through war and death. There are so many positive reasons to get up every morning for a good cause, and I choose music,” Beja said. “I am so happy that we are being seeing as something bad, as a living dream to make it.”
As he draws positive attention to his home country, and its people, Beja is using all the resources he can.
He’s even starting to broadcast his voice and story through social media — with more than 300,000 fans cheering him on.