Inspiring Stories of People Who Realized You MUST ADAPT to Survive an Economic Collapse

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After realizing that we must adapt to survive, I realize how lucky we are. Our family situation has not gotten worse, and we are healthy. The more I learn about The Great Reset and Agenda 2030, the more grateful I am we are home.

Unfortunately, many people I knew could not survive the combination of the Venezuela crisis and the pandemic. However, a few of my childhood friends were able to adapt to survive – and even thrive. They are small-town-born and bred, honest, down-to-earth, God-fearing people. They are the owners of the stories I bring along today for all of our readers.

I had advantages that others did not

I had huge advantages over many of my coworkers and friends. Being a prepper, I mentioned stocking a good pantry, installing a generator, a water tank, and getting an induction kitchen with the proper cookware. Do you think they listened? They were more like, “Hey, the steaks are on the grill, the beer is cold, kids playing in the pool…what can go wrong? Preparing for the Apocalypse is for weirdos.” (No wonder you suffered hardship, Pedro. I hope your nothing-but-lentils diet for two months doesn’t make you sick.)

Initially, my goal was to improve my immediate financial situation by obtaining a few beneficial skills like learning English and industrial machinery inspection. Now, my goals are to become self-reliant and independent.

Most of my childhood friends could not afford to leave the country. They could not even leave town due to limited resources. Many of them were unable to study a long-term career as I did. My studies were decisive in my life. Not just because of the financial means to provide for myself, but because it shaped my entire approach to problems.

Now, how did others adapt to survive? Let’s get on with my friends’ stories.

Orlando’s story

Note: We live in a small town, and I’m sure eventually someone will transmit this to my friend. He’s a great guy, by the way.

Orlando couldn’t make it to the big city to pursue a long-term career. So the need to adapt to the local market labor was inevitable. Staying in a place with low-priced working services, like grid power and water (until the 2019 crisis), worked for a while. No rent payouts mean all of your money goes to basic needs. (One of the main reasons for me coming back and bringing my only offspring with me, indeed.)

Orlando studied later in a city institute and got a technician degree. That was enough to give him a competitive edge in the reduced labor market in our town. By diversifying his income, he could make it through the worst of the collapse—trading services like IT for small businesses for food or new clothes. (He could later sell or trade the clothing.)

Orlando did not stop there

Using a borrowed Wi-Fi connection, Orlando researched how to invest and make money. (Even in our depressed and destroyed economy.) He joined a community of Venezuelans abroad, and they suggested he start crypto trading.

Note: I do not recommend anyone without a degree involving advanced math attempt crypto trading. But it seems to have worked for him.

Many nights were spent studying, practicing, and learning to achieve the needed confidence to make his first investment.  One of his brothers living overseas told him it was not going to be profitable. However, he persevered. Whatever profit he made from digital currency, he invested in physical goods with careful timing. These goods would have a great resale value, and they would sell immediately.

He bought non-perishable merchandise like shampoo, soap, toilet paper, everything covering the basic needs. He would buy one unit every few days and stash them. Over time the value of the merchandise grew. Even though it would be easy to sell the merchandise immediately, he chose to store it. Orlando used a closet to keep all of this, floor to ceiling. Smart move!

In Orlando’s words, “Crypto trading is a risky activity, and precautions will never be excessive. However, without even a patch of land to exploit, my options were quite limited.”

Here are some links to explore showing how deep underground crypto is in Venezuelan economic affairs: HERE and HERE

But, wait, that’s not all

Orlando, with the proper tutorials and skillful hands, also fixed appliances for profit. Fans, air conditioning electronics, fridge electronics, car ECUs, sound systems, anything with chips and electronics that he could disassemble, he could repair. He has a massive amount of “scrap” material in his workshop (just like my dad), where he finds usable components.

Orlando worked 10 to 12 hour days. He had to repair appliances many times with a 12v bulb wired to a car battery. Sometimes eating only vegetable soup for days because there was nothing else. Although Orlando lost weight, he was not in as bad shape as many other people. Fortunately, my friend was able to capitalize and look for the means to diversify his income, which was the key to his survival.

Lucia’s story

Note: Lucia is a great girl. Intelligent, college-educated, and lived abroad for some time while working in another country in South America.

Lucia witnessed the collapse of the country she was living in up close. She watched as neighbors committed suicide before the bank executed their mortgages and threw them out of their homes. Many people in the cities filled up their luxury patios with firewood in winter to avoid paying the heating bills. Their swimming pools were used as water reservoirs because they couldn’t afford to pay the water bill. Neighbors replaced decorative bushes with potatoes and carrots.

Lucia returns to Venezuela

Life (personal and family issues) brought Lucia back to Venezuela. Upon returning, she found her savings frozen and then stolen abroad. Working small jobs here and there for a while, Lucia hung on until the family could reopen the business with a loan from friends abroad. And then the pandemic hit.

Food scarcity was something she had experienced already, but not to the desperate levels within the period 2017-2020. Fortunately, the public relationships job Lucia had before this required her to be in good shape. As a result, she was used to a strict diet and had lost a great deal of weight. Therefore, Lucia could deal with the lack of food because of her diet.

Her diet consisted of eggs, cheese, and poultry, with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Most of those items were still available and at somewhat reasonable prices. Knowing how to balance her calories and what to eat, she kept herself healthy and survived.

Now, Lucia works a full-time job in the local news media and is a 10-minute walk from her home. No need for a car, nor commuting, nor expensive fancy clothing. She also works online in voiceover, freelancing for foreign companies, and as a P2P teacher in her journalism area of knowledge.

How could you adapt to survive?

My friends’ survival is an inspiration to me and I think we can all learn a bit from their stories. Others I know have made adaptations to survive, whether it be income diversification or new eating habits, or something else entirely. (Kudos to those who give up meat. I am a carnivore and think it would be much too hard for me!) Change is good and sometimes needed for survival.

After all, it’s not really survival of the fittest. It’s survival of the most adaptable.

How easily could you adapt to survive? Have you had to make drastic changes to your diet or other areas of your life? Do you have a diversified income? What are you willing to change and how in order to survive? Let’s talk about it in the comments section.

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t  go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible…But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

 Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on PatreonDonations: or the BTC address 3QQcFfK9GvZNEmALuVV8D6AUttChTdtReE

Picture of J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations:

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  • Thanks for sharing Jose. Your friends do sound inspiring, and you’re right, it’s not survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the most adaptable. I’ve had to make major attitude adjustments in life, as well as financial adjustments and adjustments to diet. The diet was hard at first, then better overall. I stopped eating prepackaged snacks and sugar (potato chips, pretzels, etc) for Lent one year and found out afterwards I didn’t like them anymore. Lost weight and saved money from that. The attitude adjustment after some poor life choices was actually harder. Right now I’m working on becoming more capable at firearms training due to some theft and harassment issues. I had never been interested in that kind of thing, but circumstances have shown me that I need to be more pro-active about protecting myself, so I’m adapting.

    • Dear Joanna,

      You´re welcome. Great to see how good you´ve advanced!

      As long as you´re capable to defend yourself you should be all right. Times ahead are unpredictable. Make sure to become as proficient as you feel comfortable, and learning how to reload will give you even more advantages: your own reloads will allow you to keep recoil to levels manageable for you, and will save you raw materials, also.

      Good for you! 🙂 Keep prepping!

  • Over the pandemic period, I was blessed not to lose my job. I make good money, but we are still a single income household, so loss would hurt. But, instead of focusing on having 6 months of expenses, my partner and I pivoted to 6 months to a year of food. I put almost every extra cent into debt reduction and preps. Communication was key. Everytime one of us had an idea or suggestion, we had a “want v need ” conversation. We strategized where and towards what my paycheck would be spent. We allowed ourselves small luxuries, like wine, but because we already cooked at home, we did not struggle with food like so many others who had never used a stove. We were also not bored. Books, music, our conversation, all of it kept us connected. I found new joy in working from home, and am lucky I can remain in that staus. Thanks for sharing!

    • Dear GhostViking,
      That´s what is about. If Venezuelans would have been more cautious, and the concept of stockpiling dry food instead of filling up the largest fridge credit could buy to the top, their lives would have been much easier. But a stocked pantry wasn´t going to be as flashy to exhibit to visitors and to “keep up with the Rodriguez”.

      Happy to see you did it well and your family supports the strategies!

  • Great article! I’ve been very lucky over the last year. Since I already worked from home and made decent money, the lockdowns affected me but not as much as might have been. Had this happened back in the 80s when I was in college, life might have been very different. Thankfully as a prepper and gardener, I already had some options in place that helped me. I have continued with those things.

    Since I believe the storm is far from over, I’ve been adapting both my skills and my income stream. I’ve been working out regularly and have largely left social media due to the data mining and useless fighting. I keep my mind in the circles of what I can control and stay out of trouble. Adapt or die! Being a lone wolf I might well die anyway, so I accept that and make good use of my time. And do the best I can.

    • Dear Jayne,

      Being a “lonewolf” is cool, but in the long run maybe it could lead to loneliness. Join a good, respectable pack, and use your knowledge to help others too. Maybe you will find it rewarding (just as I did). You don´t need to “belong” to the pack. Just imagine yourself as an “outsourcer”. LOL. Company is good sometimes. And yes, I totally agree with you. Social media is becoming maddening. I just use it only lately to widespread my work, so people in need can use my experiences.

      • Dear Jose,

        Thank you for your kind words. I’ve been trying to find a “pack” for a good five years with no success. Spinsters aren’t usually considered “team players” and in the US are often considered of no importance. Also it’s so politically polarized right now that any step from the group narrative tends to exclude one from the group. From what I’ve read of Selco’s writings, being a lone wolf makes everything more difficult, on top of the loneliness. But I’ll keep trying. If it’s my time I’ll do my best to sell my life expensively LOL. Oy.

        • Jayne,

          Spinsters got that moniker by being industrious a financially independent. I think they have some of the best how to knowledge out there.

        • I’ve never understood people that won’t consider someone as a potential group member because that person happens to be older or confined to a wheel chair.

          I’ve always considered skills and will to live to be more important than a strong back.

          I’ve said before, I’d can find a critical role for just about anyone who has a working mind and a will to survive. Strong backs are easy to find, so someone’s physical limitations can be overcome.

    • Dear Jayne,

      I’m sorry to hear that. I agree with Ghostviking. “Spinsters” are unusually strong women I think. I’m sure you’ll find a good pack of friends to unite to. In Venez, women are very important and mostly respected as family leaders. Don’t think on dying yet! It’s pretty likely you’re going still a long road ahead.

      I’m thankful I’ve met so many wonderful people within this community.
      Take care!

  • Adaptability is one of the keys to survival in any scenario. It is a mental attitude that should be practiced in real life almost every day. This is not something that you should wait for SHTF to start using.
    Start by looking for alternative ways to do things in every day life. Then look at how that might be useful in a Survival scenario.
    Say you drive your car to work. What are your alternatives if you could not use your car?
    Do busses run to your work? Do you know their schedules? Do you have a bike?
    Could you walk if you had to?
    The same apples to going to the store to get necessities.
    Once you have these answers you might be able to apply them to SHTF. If you could not use your vehicle and had to bug out or just to get around town.
    Say you are baking; what can be substituted for your normal ingredients if some of them were not available? Could you use butter instead of Oil? Or lard? If you had no sugar, could you use Honey?

    Now is the time to start widening your horizons and increasing your adaptability skills.

  • Adapting has been one skill that I have had no choice but to sharpen with severe illness and unexpected outside situations too. Ive had to change my diet and living situation… Everything really. Adapting i can do. Its very difficult but I can do it.

  • Being to adapt is critical. Having sn open mind id also important. Adapting to the new reality is going to be very hard for a lot of people. Some of the younger generations that have no practical skills like gardening, cooking, sewing, basic repairs or hunting are going to have the hardest time.

    Unfortunately the majority of these people have flocked to big cities where they are surrounded by people with the same lack of skills.

    These people can’t handle dealing with someone who holds a different opinion than they do. They can’t handle being told that something they did wasn’t perfect, let alone the least bit or criticism. Many of them have all sorts of anxiety about just about everything.

    It’s going to be real ugly for them. I forsee many of them not being able to deal with the new reality. Some will just shut down and give up.

    • Dear Thaylore,
      I’ve seen this already in young people migrating to other countries. They just can’t stand even being poorly or unkindly treated. I know it’s hard, but I NEVER was treated that way. Back in Lima, always walking chest out, stepping firmly, and a definitely respectful, but respectable attitude towards anyone else surely marked a difference. I never was disrespected.

      On the other hand, I went through some harsh situations back in 1989, 1992 and 2002/2003 that shaped me to approach things the way I am doing it now. People under 25-30 didn’t live it, and all they see is their world falling apart.

      You’re right, younger generations are not going to have it easy, no matter where they are.

  • I enjoyed reading about the three different situations and how each person adapted.
    I’d started several year ago setting aside necessities. It was a blessing. I caught covid April and May last year. I wasn’t able to even stand up to cook but once that degree of helplessness passed I wasn’t able to drive or shop for months. We survived on the things we’d been saving. Now that I’m recovering were setting aside even more.
    Measured by what we used we’re well over two years ahead as long as its just the two of us. Not eating processed food really helped the fibromyalgia. Less pain and increasing strength. Also over 40 lbs lighter maintained for a year now. I’m still building strength.
    Our incomes are Social Security only but I have marketable skills. I’ve taught school from preschool through High School. I design clothing in most any size. I own 5 sewing machines plus a treadle I’m restoring and a machine that will sew leather from clothing to hand bags, saddle bags or boot tops. I raise more garden that we need for sun drying, canning , or fresh eating. I added more fruit this year and figured out ways to be more saving of water. I have 3 acres and 2 wells. One well on commercial power and the other with a manual winch to draw up water. I can store 1875 gallons of water for the garden and critters. 40+ gallons of drinking water. I raise chickens, ducks, and rabbits for our protein source. I have hand tools for the kitchen and basic woodworking. I have a pretty good collection of books. I’m about ready to install a new larger solar array. I have been planting a wild garden as well as a regular garden. Lots of medicinal plants. Some flowers too.
    Home is heated with a rocketcstove that burns branches, wood chips, or even gravity fed pellets. I cook there in winter and in a homemade BBQ outside. There i burn twigs, branches, or home made elm charcoal.
    I grew up with parents who were young adults in the US depression. They taught me to forage, make a bow and arrows, and shoot straight. Not bad with a sling shot either. I butcher my own meats.
    I started out working alone. My husband isn’t capable of helping anymore. But I’ve been adding to my pack. Both men and women. People who help me and who I’d do anything for.
    I’ve lost everything I owned three times. What I learned was I can survive and replace it all and more if time lasts long enough. I’ve outlived two husband’s and husband three was a nice surprise after years alone.
    I live in high mountain desert. A harsh place. Yet people have lived here for over a millenia. I’m sure there are more things I’ll learn and much to teach. If I do survive more hard times hurray! If I don’t survive one day it’s ok. I’m at peace with that. My funeral and plot are no secret to the family. We have a family plot here on my land. Two good friends are there with my parents, and my previous husband. It’s not morbid. It makes planning easier for the family. If I had to leave by vehicle ok. My husband cannot walk away any longer. I keep seasonal things in the vehicles including basic camping and cooking capabilities.
    At 74 I’ve been retired for 9 years. I work to stay strong and clear minded. I’m building a livable camper in a small truck. A solar panel on top of the camper shell, a 100ah battery for a laptop and printer, a small fridge, a bed platform with bedding, clothing cooking items and a minimum of 1 month food and 2 weeks drinking or cooking water. Fishing and hunting capable and a matching butchering set, an old ax, and more.
    I’m a retired pastor and Bible teacher with a Doctorate in ethics and counseling. That may or may not be an income vocation. Still I enjoy Bible study and worship.
    Here on the property I have garden nursery supplies, seedling trays, flats, clear covers, hundreds of pots from tiny to big tree sizes. Seeds for planting full gardens for the next few years.
    There are 3 different generators but the solar array is my planned source of power. 1400w, 9K, and a welder/generator.
    This year I learned to do sutures so multiple suture kits are in a surgical backpack. Blood stop, iodine, and lots more. My first real stitches were last week on a kitten that lost 2/3 of its tail to a neighbors big pup. $200 for docking the injured tail. I used triple antibiotic ointment on the skinned tail. It healed over, dried up, self amputated and I sewed up the remaining skin. Good practice and the kitten handled it more calmly that I’d have expected.
    I aim to keep learning new things that we need. And some for just incase something different comes up.

    • Clergylady – I so wish that you would consider writing for us. You have so many stories, skills, and a spirit of resilience not often seen. If you’re interested, please contact us at [email protected]. We would consider you such an asset to our team.


    • @Clergylady

      Sounds like you your skills would be an asset to any group. Even if all you could do is teach those skills it would benefit any group.

      “I’m a retired pastor and Bible teacher with a Doctorate in ethics and counseling. That may or may not be an income vocation.”

      Maybe not an income, but if things go sideways you sound like a great person to mediate disputes. The proverbial neutral third party people could agree to listen to.

    • Before I saw Daisy’s reply to your comment, my thought was “I want to hear more”. I want to learn more of what you know, and am willing to listen to what you want to share.

  • Dear J.G. Martinez D,

    since you seem like chap who has seen quite a spectrum of the possible experienceable in the dirt.
    I can not come around to ask you, if you could write a article dedicated to the sex trade in dire situations, since you probably saw some of that too and it probably left a mark/impression on you.

    (Just want to kick around some suggestions what might be in it: Districts/spread of the trade, consumers, public impressions/handling of the sex workers (especially in families)…. .)

    Admittedly this interest sparks from quite recent discoveries of swelling populations of newcomers on adult sites like Pornhub and I thought maybe some autor/s on the organic prepper can stitch some thoughts/experiences together and form an article for suggetions to handle this or to inform what to generelly expect there.

    *I also like to toss this question/request to other autors like Selco other capable writer who have/want to say/express something regarding this topic.

    Thank you for your time and possibly answering me

    • Dear Lennart,

      Fortunately I haven´t seen myself in the need (yet) to freelance in such websites. And to be honest I don´t think I could ever make a living in that environment. (LMAO)
      Other than getting myself a sugar mommy, trying to get ladies as customers would be uphill. LOL. (This is fertile land for plenty of funny comments. Sorry about that).

      OK, now, seriously, it is indeed a topic to write about. Venezuelan women are mostly pretty and love to groom themselves. I´ve seen them be very successful in such activities in other countries. Sure I could write about that in this specific environment.
      This is the kind of feedback we writers need from our readers!
      Stay tuned, and thanks for that approach.

  • Hi Jose, this is true inspiration, and an article that clearly has gotten readers thinking. By reading the stories of your friends “on the ground” (so to speak), we are able to reflect on how we might do and adapt in those circumstances. These are stories of drive, ingenuity, and adaptability. Thank you for sharing them!

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