Border closure forces Venezuelan kids to make perilous treks

A Venezuelan student rides on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander Internation

A Venezuelan student rides on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander Internation

Venezuelan students walk into Colombia from Venezuela along the Tachira River, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge, Wednesday,

Venezuelan students walk into Colombia from Venezuela along the Tachira River, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge, Wednesday,

A volunteer gives a Venezuelan student a piggyback ride across the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander I

A volunteer gives a Venezuelan student a piggyback ride across the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander I

Venezuelan students ride on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International

Venezuelan students ride on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International

Venezuelans students stand on the banks of the Tachira River as they wait for fellow students to cross into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisc

Venezuelans students stand on the banks of the Tachira River as they wait for fellow students to cross into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisc

Venezuelan students ride on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International

Venezuelan students ride on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International

Venezuelan students ride on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International

Venezuelan students ride on a wooden raft to cross the Tachira River into Colombia from Venezuela, near the Francisco de Paula Santander International

Venezuelans cross illegally into Colombia near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, which Venezuelan authorities continue to keep closed, in La Par

Venezuelans cross illegally into Colombia near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, which Venezuelan authorities continue to keep closed, in La Par

CUCUTA, Colombia (AP) — About 3,000 Venezuelan children cross the border daily to attend school in Colombia, and the closure of border bridges has forced them instead to take perilous treks along illegal pathways.

Venezuelan children in school uniforms boarded makeshift wooden rafts to cross the Tachira River on Wednesday to reach schools in Cucuta, Colombia.

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has cut ties with Colombia after opposition leaders used the neighboring Andean nation as a launching point for humanitarian aid meant to undermine his authority.

Colombian officials temporarily closed two major border bridges for several days over security concerns. But Venezuela's military is continuing to block the bridges with rock-filled shipping containers.

Many Venezuelan parents send children across the busy border, believing they will get a better education there.