A Venezuelan Prepper Looks Back: “Things I Would Have Done Differently If I Knew What Was Coming”

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Having overcome a few personal incidents that rocked the boat these last few weeks, I want to write now about one of the most important experiences regarding the psychological aspect of prepping. Looking back as a Venezuelan prepper, there are things I would have done differently if I had fully known what was coming our way.

Enduring what we have gone through, even after having a proper approach to prepping, sort of conventional in a sense: gensets, water tanks, storage capacity, dry supplies for a few months, and other stuff, all of these are into the field of the conventional and regular prepping.

Off-road vehicles perhaps, or at least a vehicle in good enough shape to take a beating up to the retreat, radios, some food production and particular, merchandisable skills. (I lack a little bit in the field of manual arts, like pottery or painting, but maybe it is just me…I can change a tire in record time, which is an art by itself especially in a Venezuela where the roads are plagued with thugs.)

This is stuff that any person concerned about self-reliance should have covered. But next, we have to try to imagine what could be on the horizon that we have never considered.

I am not talking about prepping for every conceivable threat. That is just not possible nor practical.


What I want, is that you imagine what your action course would be just in case your worst scenario, one so bad you could not even imagine, takes place.

For those who have not read my former articles, I used to have a regular life, pretty good according to our standards in Venezuela. A good and well-paying job, medical care insurance, school at 10 minutes on foot for the kiddo. A sushi restaurant next to a pizza delivery at 5 minutes on foot, and so on. What else could you ask for?

It was all great until the apocalypse started.

How to identify this threshold is not easy for me nowadays. The more I research, the more I realize this was a planned action and conceptualized a long time ago. My generation did not have a chance to prevent it. The plan was already rolling and we were teenagers, unable to hold a gun.

The consequences would be foreseeable, for sure, for those who have lived through it already and had access to some information. Some people meeting up, perhaps some leftist candidate winning an election and slowly washing the face to the communists…the real bad guys, I mean.

But definitely, the most alarming warning sign was the food rationing: this was the cherry of the pie.

They took over the country, people included. In a country where the food production was once at industry level now is importing packaged food, box by box, for the leftist elite. If there is something left then it goes to the inferior members. Real vulnerable people got nothing, and that is why they are dying.

They started with the education system.

Trying to sell to the populace sociopaths like Stalin and Lenin as heroes of their country. Making attempts to the Marxist ideology look like the Holy Grail. They had permeated the national universities all over the country, by the way. “Fight against the imperialism” was their motto. Whatever that was.

Many of the fanatics when asked, they hesitate and mention the Anglo-Saxon empire, the USA, etc. Never defined their borders. Never could identify that enemy. That is not surprising, given the general level of education in the barrios, where most of the people used to live.

Private schooling was very different: one of our most reputed schools is called Emil Friedman. Under this general scenario, and with that dangerous little island, an expert in exporting revolution and crime (remember Mariel? Those fellow preppers in Miami certainly should) – all of this was predicted by some people. The bad news were that those people, had not a solid enough platform because they were politicians with very questionable honesty. The exceptions were not part of the mainstream media, which found in Uncle Hugo a great asset for selling their news. But, enough with politics. I am about to puke.

What it was like to realize everything had changed

Imagine you are a Venezuelan. You don’t have a profitable job any longer, and you still have a family to support. There is no engine oil, and God forbids one of your tires should blow up. A belt for the engine costs several times your weekly salary. The parts factories have been overtaken by a mixed mafia military-LEOs-dishonest civilians, that won´t sell at the “regulated” prices (This happened in Russia, I remember reading about it in Reader´s Digest). Hyperinflation begins.

You don´t have a place to go, because the situation and daily living did not allow you to build a compound in a safe place that was large enough for being sustainable.

The situation gets worst every day. Prices in electronic, paying via bank transfer are much higher than in cash but it is impossible to get cash. People are calling to their day jobs to quit because they can´t get there, and anyway, salaries are not enough to make a decent living, not even to be able to eat a couple of days.

You are a professional with a wage or run a business that is quickly falling apart. You see on your way home families tearing up the garbage bags in the streets looking for something barely edible. Every day your kid arrives home with the news about some other school partner had to leave the country with his family.

The medical attention is almost impossible to get with a salary. Doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare professionals have left.

What do you do?.

You have to think outside the box to survive.

If you keep thinking inside the box and hoping for the things will improve, good luck. Chances are that is not going to happen that way. On the contrary.

Leaving out early will give you an edge over the rest of the people. If you are a prepper, there comes a point after your preps have been consumed, and there is no way to keep living, in order to survive we have to make choices. Informed, calculated, firm but somehow flexible decisions.

This is not going to be easy. You’re not (most likely) going to end gathered together around a bonfire, singing “Kumbaya”, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows while the entire country falls apart in the cities. After the last hot dog has been eaten, and there is no way to replenish supplies, that is when the bad weather starts. Without enough resources and the proper mindset (like being ready to eat fish every day, for instance, if you have a river close enough) it is going to be three times that hard.

The Venezuelans lost the ability to hunt other thing that stray animals in the cities, or pidgeons, as our wildlife was predated so heavily for years of government negligence (60 years as a minimum) that it is impossible to think in putting meat on the table with a rifle, except for some very skilled persons in very secluded areas. And oh, by the way, did I mention that the rifles for hunting and the handguns were seized to those stupid enough to take them to the military for “licensing” in 2012? They never got their guns back. They would have been useless anyway because there was no longer any ammo available.

Here is the most important part: you must try living with less. Get rid of everything you could not take with you in one or two big 3 ton.trucks, or a couple of Rvs perhaps. I’m not telling you to sell everything that you have accumulated, but…how are you going to take it if you have to move?

Our species survived by its nomadic culture. That is something that comforts me the most these days.  Cultivate personal relationships with valuable, genuine, honest and straight people.

There are things I wish I had done differently.

I am in a dilemma, as I invested lots of hard-earned money trying to diversify my income before the plan of the communists sped up, and all of my equipment is now there: bechtop drills, Dremel tools for finishing, electric sanders and all kind of tools, including my CNC.

With just half of that stuff, I could have already starting a small business here. If I had followed through with my plan of having a small, reliable and dirty cheap maintenance car for daily driving and a diesel truck, we could have loaded the truck and migrated by land, perhaps with both cars and even my Berta, my beloved bike with her wonderful roaring 74 cubic inches engine. Changing the papers of the truck for personal use would have been easy, and then it would be much more practical than a car. We could have retrofitted the truck, making it livable for the road.

With my equipment, just renting an empty lot with water, sewer, and power access we could have been set up for a fresh start very different to those who are in this very same moment shaking, freezing their backsides off in the streets of the big cities in the South of America, selling cakes, chocolate and churros in the middle of the worst winter in years. We could have been together no matter what, and I would have been able to spend those 8 months seeing my kiddo growing like a weed.

That is what I have on mind, indeed.

From now forward, I will trim my life and build with my own hands whatever I could need. No matter if the results are a little bit out of the standards. I still have some tables made by my grandpa´s hands, and even a small toy boat he managed to put together for me, now part of the family museum. They will be passed on to my kids. If the world survives long enough and they can have their own families, of course.

Some additional thoughts

I have been saying that, albeit not being someone excessive religious, growing up in a Catholic country, indeed allowed me to be free enough to choose the eclectic mixture I practice now.

I pray to the Creator and ask for help and protection for my people.

I like to light some incense for my ancestors (I like my place smelling nice, too). I see the sky and try to connect with the Universal energy, wherever it can be. My spirit these days has been shaken by the news about young people from Venezuela committing suicide, in their sorrow and desperation about the future.

Please, remember those young desperate souls in our prayers, and help them to find the path to their final destination.

Thanks, and God bless us all.

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: paypal.me/JoseM151

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  • THIS is funny,IF americans are so stupid, their still unarmed,and NOT rady,who can save them,NO ONE,braindead stupid won’t save you,your going to a FEMA DEATH CAMP and be tortured to death,your children will be FED TO THE GUARD DOGS,and you will die..THE HERO’S OF AMERICA are anything but that,their the FILTH of the earth,and worshipping SATAN and his minions is strickly forbidden by GOD,but you don’t know him ,DO YOU,well get ready to meet him if your NOT ready to fight in the coming war,Because you will die for certain…..

  • what i have said here a few times…..you can’t prepare for everything and the best thing you can stock up on is knowledge. not knowledge in terms of books but knowledge of how to.

    guns can’t hurt either.

    so sorry for what jg and his people are going through.

    • Thanks buddy. Really appreciated. My family is safe now, and I give thanks everyday for that, and for being able to help those reading my experiences.

      And yes, your knowledge can feed your family, and maybe someday even save a life.

  • I must have missed it what was the pepper info he shared? I didnt see where he said I should have saved more of this item or learned how to grow this.

    This was a good info piece but not a good prepper piece. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • Being prepared isn’t just about storing food or growing it.

      It’s about recognizing the signs. About doing things even if they seem crazy to everybody else. Trusting your instincts. Knowing when to get out of Dodge. I believe this provides some of the best lessons a prepper could ever read.

      Thanks for reading, and best wishes!

      • Sorry, I have to agree with the fellow. There was nothing really specific in here. He was really lamenting about the whole situation of how communist are just phonies and liars who just either LOVE human misery and suffering or are very vindictive people trying to bring the WORSE out of every one of us.

        It’s amazing communist weren’t shot on site, but like the Venezuelan prepper said. They took your weapons because if you ever find out what they are…..

        • Cricket,
          I apologize for not writing perhaps what some readers are used to, some condensed information that ends with a to do list or something similar. Creatively writing, given my general lack of expertise in this particular area (I have been freelancing as a technical writer, mostly) and putting out something coherent in a foreign language means an extra effort that sometimes is weary, specially under the circumstances that I am getting through.

          However, with the information my friends and family are providing, I will generate some practical information with some ideas, but mainly for those living in warm climates (we don’t have winters so that would not be responsible to do).

          I am working in some designs and systems that should be useful, though, but they will be available in the mid term…because I would have to build some prototypes and optimize their functioning before making them available.
          Stay safe buddy.

      • Daisy,

        I thought the article was pretty direct. What is coming is going to be worse than what anyone can imagine. People will need to have a plan and be flexible. The totalitarian takeover of the US is what is coming. We are a nation of sheep, wimps, ignoramouses, that is both culturally and morally bankrupt. Most of people would hand over any last vestige of freedom for a freebie or perceived safety.

    • Yup. I didn’t really get any prepper information out of this. All I got was the fact that he is unhappy. What does he wish he had done differently?

    • He’s written other pieces you just got to follow him for example he wrote a really really interesting article on what a Preppers carry gun should be

      • Thanks Tim!
        I see you appreciate that experience, earned the hard way. According to some fellows I have met around here in this country, the rest of the world seems to be a safe place compared to what is going on now there.

        Even my dad is complaining about the crime…and he is an elder person. I have asked him to come with us but he does not want to leave.

  • “Things I would’ve done differently if I had known what was coming.”

    That’s the title, but I didn’t really catch any list of preps of this over that.

    It seems, to me anyway, the gist of this is no matter what your preps are you’re going to lack some important things.

    Ya, no kidding.

    Thus, the smart chess plays for strategic advantage in KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS. Oh, and lots of ammunition…

    • Please keep in mind that I’m the one who writes the headlines, not Jose. I thought this was very clear but it seems to be raising some controversy.

      • interesting read but clickbait title offering no real useful information. looking forward to Bernie Sanders 2020.

        • Mike,

          Why are you looking forward to Bernie Sanders? He is a communist. He ran on the Communist Party USA platform during the last election. Also, he is currently serving in our government and has been for a long time. That means he is just as guilty of treason as everyone else “serving” in our government. He would not be allowed to remain in office if he was not an insider. Has Bernie Sanders vowed to end our current banking system (Karl Marx approved–Thomas Jefferson rejected) which is stealing the wealth of every American?

          Also, do you know who owns the privately privately owned Federal Reserve Bank? Do you understand fractional reserve banking? Our country is very communist. Stupid Americans are choosing servitude in exchange for a carrot. Why go to Venezuela when Bernie sanders said he wants to bring that style socialism here.

          PS-Marxists kill Christians because they are Satanists. All modern socialism is Satanic based off the ideas of Satanist like Marx, Engels, Gramsci, and Kalgeri.

          • I will give you a thumbs up in your “PS” remarks when you join Marxism with Socialism. Many people like to split hairs over the meaning of words, that there is a difference between Communists, Fascists, Socialists. What does U.S.S.R. stand for? Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics. And NAZI? National German SOCIALIST workers party. This socialism has been made to seem normal and caring in the west. It is strong in Canada and a huge segment of the up and coming generation are enamored with it as a loving parent who will provide for all their needs. They don’t understand that it means slavery and death. Vladimir Putin acknowledged that this ideology is not compatible with Christianity. As you rightly point out, it hates Christianity. Everywhere it gains a hold it tries to destroy Christians. Even a blind man can see what is coming at us. Everything in this world is temporary. Hold everything loosely.

            • I agree. Remember our experience in Chile, under Pinochet ruling. It was a hardcore dictatorship, right wing, and he made some similar things to what that commie gang is doing in Venezuela, but those years there was no Internet and he had it easier.

              If you allow me, there is no such thing as “socialism”, nor “capitalism”. This is a simple approach engineered by the NWO for the simpler minds, so they have something to discuss through the centuries, just as the dissertations of how many angels could dance in the head of a pin.

          • At last a common-sense person. This man in Venezuela is talking about communism and now people are looking to Bernie Sanders what kind of brain did is that?

      • I understood that if he would have prepared better with a plan for income using machine tools & equipment to build a business for fixing things. A way to create income financial or barter. Here on the Texas coast a welding machine/gen set serves two purposes, and with a gas cutting rig you can build or repair a lot. Add a drill press etc. you got an income during lean times. Most of your small farms already have these down here. This story of his has set my mind to little more equipment JIC.

        • You are absolutely right Rascal. Just make it safe. If I were you I would dig a hidden place in the side of a mountain, waterproof the entire workshop, and install some fume exhaust system. With a water stream nearby, I would install a concealed turbine to provide energy and run the wiring up to the workshop.

          Some time ago this would not have been in my wildest fantasies. Nowadays it makes plain, common sense with the things dad has told me about the crime situation.

      • It was very clear I don’t know why they’re complaining and this particular article he was speaking more in generalities and I’m taking care of his family for example having a big enough vehicle to move his business and start-up life normally somewhere else instead of relying on canned food and flint and steel LOL we are after all modern people. I thought it was a good article I love the guy

  • I so agree with this man when he said that he discovered that what is happening in Venezuela was a long-planned event. In Chavez early rise I recall reading that he took over all the farms. I thought that was a stupid thing to do. Nobody should be short of food there. They can be self-sufficient. So, yes much of this misery can be placed on the government. However, there are outside forces which are greatly compounding the misery even as they did with Russia in the 1990’s. There are some things they can do to escape this. http://thesaker.is/the-balkanization-of-south-america-and-the-role-of-fifth-columns-throughout-the-world/
    The one approach I’ve taken to prepping which differs from this gentleman is to concentrate as much as possible on non-electric tools. Non-electric backups in all things.
    Sadly, we can condemn socialism all we want. It makes us feel superior. But what do we have that is better? Fascism? Essentially the same thing with the eventual same result. It’s like buying ice cream. Lots of flavours but it’s all ice cream.

    • Socialism and Fascism are different sides of the same coin fighting for control of the totalitarian Left.

      What we have as an option is the Constitutional Republic our Founders began. We need to return to that. Smaller government, stronger states, individual accountability.

  • I think what he trying to convey, he would have more cash. He would have a cheap, dependable car and a truck he could get of dodge with. He would have left a lot sooner and not tried to wait it out.

  • Jose is not trying to give us step-by-step preps that will cover every situation or person. Showing how one gets by and what to look for when a country starts to descend into anarchy is invaluable. When he says he would have done things differently, that is his personal regret; one that he hopes we won’t have to repeat. Giving up everything, even your culture, to survive and yes, even THRIVE is admirable. I thank you Jose for your wisdom in the face of chaos and sharing your very personal thoughts.

  • Good grief, the complainers are out again.
    Jose gave some great ideas on reading the tea leaves EARLY. Having a good, sensible truck or large SUV that you can pack to the roof rafters with things that will help you survive and prosper in a new area. Also, an RV (5th wheel, cargo box, etc) will be worth its weight in gold. It offers a roof over your head, a safe place to sleep, room for your important stuff, a way to transport pets-quietly, etc. He could’ve even loaded up his motorbike: which is cheap on gas and offers a way to travel offered and unnoticed. He even talked about your food preps: don’t think because they last for 20 years that you won’t need them way sooner.
    I think that far too many preppers are planning on the bug in, 2000 years of freeze dried, and guns & ammo to be the pathway to paradise. These things are good ideas, but keep in mind that any of us may need to leave and venture forth in order to stay safe. Got a way to get your stuff to a new area? The old story of having Plans A<B<C<D<E, knowing your area and the 4 counties surrounding it, and be aware of what is going on-besides the Kardashians. As a people, we want our lives to be normal and chaos free. We also do denial real well. Be aware of what is happening around you, and know when the authorities are lying to you.

    • Good points here as well. Great explanation for folks who are having trouble grasping and are just complaining.
      One issue we are dealing with is so many folks expect an”event” – I’ve thought all along this will be a slow burn.

    • Yes, it looks like he’s saying that he thinks preparing for a more nomadic existence, with means of doing skilled work along the way, a la “Locusts on the Horizon” would have been a useful thing to have done. It’s good to have regular preparations, but what’s your plan when you get kicked out of your home he seems to be saying in part.

  • That’s a laugh. When you know it’s coming, you get the heck out of there. You don’t pontificate on how you would have ‘better weathered the abuse.’

    • Joe….you might need to read it again. That is precisely what the article says. He would have left earlier, he would have had better transportation for bugging out, he would have moved to a place where he was not subject to the crime.

  • That was extremely valuable boots on the ground advice. If you need another hoardèr grocery list, there are plenty of armchair blowhards online. None of them are living the nightmare. Thank you Jose and Daisy, I wont waste your abvice

    • Dear UncleGunnysack,

      Thanks for your appreciation. I spent a lot of time writing and polishing this articles, based in real information provided by my people there, so these can be as useful as possible.

      If you need to learn about some particular angle, please let us know and I will write about it, and if that is covered by some of my fellows that are still there.

      Keep reading, and stay safe!.

  • I think it was a valuable article reminding to recognize early the troubles around us. Maybe seeing the same lists of stored food, water, extra clothing, medicines, etc. makes some people feel more secure; they can pretend they have already done that. There’s lots of those lists out there. I need to concentrate on a better vehicle as this article points out. Thanks for all you do, Daisy, and best of luck to Jose.

  • Daisy – I really enjoy your posts but I think you need to moderate the comments on people that get running with political BS. I used to read every day but when the election was coming on and I was reading more about politics than actually prepping, I tuned out. I just started reading again and scrolling through the comments seeing people go crazy about politicians, totally turns me off. I may not have the same political affiliations as the majority of your readers but I still share the same prepping mind-set. Can we stay on topic please? I think you are doing a great job but these political nuts are ruining it for me. I’m sure that the comment that follows mine will include something along the “snowflake” variety. Maybe if more people stayed on topic, we could create an actual community. I end this with: Be Nice.

    • Dear Name:

      Hi there and welcome back!

      I have written quite a lot recently about the inability of many folks to stay civil and forget about politics for a while. I am not of the same political beliefs as many readers, also, as a staunch voluntaryist/libertarian. As the meme says, I just want to have my guns and go to my gay friends’ wedding.



      I try myself to maintain a less biased perspective, but I sincerely hate to censor the comments. In fact, unless they are incredibly racist and hateful, I let them post. I really do want this to be an open place for discussion and that includes some things that I don’t personally agree with.

      I do hope you’ll stick around.

      Best wishes,

      • Hey Daisy,
        As usual, another good article from Jose – any information we can glean from those that have live through what we hope we never have to is good to have. I like that you keep most of the comments up, no matter how whacked some of them get. Like checking out the #LeftWired Main Stream Media sites from time to time, these comments keep me up on what ‘the enemy’ is thinking – how they are trying to sell their Bleat to the Sheep. The comments also tell me the mental condition of Citizens trying to ferret out some kind of plan and how far they are off at times. These could be your new road buddies. Interesting info from Jose on the fact it finally got so bad in Venezuela that he had to leave the country to survive & keep his family safe….. So, if we have the same thing happen in the US, think about it, where are we going? By the time the US gets that bad, how bad is it already going to be north in Canada, how about dragging your family through Mexico to try to get to Costa Rica, Belize or even Ecuador. The entire population of Venezuela, city, rural – the whole country is a trash heap, what makes us think the US cannot end up like that? Just some thoughts, keep up the great info sharing.

  • I didn’t get much out of this article at all. I would think if someone had lived through this collapse they would have a lot more detailed insight. Maybe I missed the prior detailed articles.

    • If you check the dropdown box in the menu, there are dozens of articles by Jose. It was a pretty long collapse, Preppersouth.

  • How can people not see the steps to take from this article. People are speed skimming articles looking for the 123 style of today’s articles ! Obviously a well written piece with great info! Great ideas

    • Dear StaceyK,

      I am no professional writer by any means; I am just a college-educated professional that loves to write, and had to go under extreme measures in order to preserve the family well-being, because of the messed up world geopolitics.

      We had to live in “interesting” times, just like that old Chinese curse says.

      The kind of 1-2-3 – voila! articles you mention, is the equivalent of junk food, to me. I have read tons of such articles, and most of them leaves you with a feeling of…emptiness.

      I like very much your comment about my writing style, and I appreciate that.
      I will be writing about lots of more details in the months to come. There is a lot of things happening and chances are that we expatriate pros receive a call to rebuild. Or to arms, whatever comes first, we will attend to it.

  • He mentioned that he would have set things up for a restart & he should have caught on sooner. IMHO, that pretty well covers it…

  • Right now, in Venezuela, you can get a 6 month supply of food for a single ounce of silver. Their fiat currency has reached that level of fiatness. In the US, you can get a single ounce of silver for around $17 or so in junk silver, aka US silver coins that have been circulated. If you don’t have some actual silver or gold on hand at home, not in a bank or in mining shares or “paper” silver or gold you are going to wish you had bought some when it was cheap. Spending $50 a month on some silver right now surely beats having a machete battle with someone over a choice bag of garbage the rich family just thew over their well guarded wall.

    Many of course will say silver and gold will mean nothing in shtf but I beg to differ, look at Venezuela, they’re in shtf right now and if you were there and had silver or gold you could survive or even escape.

    Of course you need guns and ammo to survive shtf but there’s always an economy, barter being most common in Venezuela unless you’re an elite. The elites are living high on the hog in Venezuela, while the rest of the people perish. Some women in Venezuela are finding their bodies are handy to barter with, taking food or other goods in return for sex – I can’t recommend this but it is taking place. Venezuela is at an interesting point in their fiatness, while they suffer Wiemar/Zimbabwe level inflation, cash is a rarity for the majority of citizens, so barter is an absolute, and likely the only solution.

    Please pray for the people of Venezuela and other countries where the poor are barely making it. Taking in a few thousand refugees doesn’t fix the root of the problem; a socialist government. Also, get you some silver.

    • Dear Josh,
      You would cry your eyes dry if you heard the stories about what very young people (and I mean young) have to do with their bodies to get some food. You are right, the elites are trying to dig their trenches to resist what is coming: they now give more money to the military, and now they earn 6 times what an oil field experienced engineer like myself used to earn.

      Thanks for your kind words, and your deep understanding of what is going on in my wonderful, and beloved country.

      Stay safe.

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