Growing Demand For Cardboard Coffins In Venezuela

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Photo by Marco Bello / Reuters

Elio Angulo lies inside a cardboard coffin next to Alejandro Blanchard as they introduce their product to potential customers at a mortuary in Valencia, in the state of Carabobo, Venezuela. Continue reading »

Discovering The Lost World Of Venezuela

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Indigenous woven backpacks called guayare are seen in front of a house in Paraitepui village, before a walking excursion to Mount Roraima, near Venezuela’s border with Brazil January 13, 2015. A mysterious table-topped mountain on the Venezuela-Brazil border that perplexed 19th century explorers and inspired “The Lost World” novel is attracting ever more modern-day adventurers. (Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)
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International Tattoo Expo 2015 in Venezuela

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Mary Jose Cristerna, a Mexican known as The Vampire Woman, poses for the public to take portraits of her during the annual Venezuela Tattoo International Expo in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, January 29, 2015. Tattoo artists from around the world are gathering for the four-day event that also includes under the skin implants and body piercing. (Photo by Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo)
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Venezuela’s Beloved Macaws

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In this November 24, 2014 photo, macaws fly over the city in Caracas, Venezuela. Macaws are thriving amid the high-rises and traffic of Caracas thanks to a group of amateur birders who feed them and watch out for their nests. Visitors to Venezuela’s capital soon grow accustomed to lifting their heads at dusk and dawn to see the stately birds glide by, usually in a pair. (Photo by Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo)
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Venezuela Lauds World Records for Christmas Dinner “Made in Revolution”

“Venezuela praised its ‘socialist revolution’ for a culinary conquest on Saturday: Guinness World Records for the country’s beloved Christmas dinner staples. A cook-a-thon in capital Caracas landed Venezuela records for the biggest ham-filled bread, sugar cane juice infused with lemon, and “hallaca”, a cornmeal dish wrapped in plantain leaves. “Made in socialism, made in revolution”, Food Minister Yvan Bello said in a flurry of celebratory tweets. “The people are celebrating, Venezuela is a country of records, of achievements, thanks to the revolution!”, he added, feting the 20-meter bread, 12,000-liter drink and 120-meter “hallaca”. The initiative comes as Venezuelans struggle ahead of the holiday season due to shortages of basic goods and sky-high inflation that crimps purchasing power. Leftist president Nicolas Maduro has launched a plan dubbed “Operation Merry Christmas” to lower the cost of toys, clothes and appliances for shoppers amid the weakening economy. Critics blast the measures as unsustainable distractions to mask the OPEC country’s deeper problems”. – Alexandra Ulmer via Reuters.

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Workers cook a giant hallaca – a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, raisins, capers, and olives wrapped in cornmeal dough and folded within plantain leaves, a typical Venezuelan Christmas dish, during an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest hallaca, in Caracas November 15, 2014. The giant hallaca more than 120 metres long. (Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)
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Venezuela’s Eternal Storm

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A girl skips with a rope in the village of Ologa in the western state of Zulia, Venezuela October 23, 2014. This year the Catatumbo Lightning was approved for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, dethroning the Congolese town of Kifuka as the place with the world’s most lightning bolts per square kilometer each year at 250. Scientists think the Catatumbo, named for a river that runs into the lake, is normal lightning that just happens to occur far more than anywhere else, due to local topography and wind patterns. (Photo by Jorge Silva/Reuters)
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Venezuela’s Surreal Prices

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A box of 36 coloured pencils as photographed in a studio with an illustrative price tag of $115 (US dollars), equivalent to the Bs. 725 (bolivars) that it costs on average to purchase in Caracas at the official exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar, in Caracas September 29, 2014. Venezuela’s economic crisis has led to some shocking and surreal price distortions that hit people’s buying power dramatically. While the government of President Nicolas Maduro calls the country’s minimum wage of Bs. 4,252 the highest in the region when converted to $675 using the official exchange rate, the galloping black market for currency considers it as just $42.50 when converted at the street rate of Bs. 100 per US dollar, the rate which many importers and retail outlets must use to acquire hard currency. Venezuela’s annual inflation rate of more than 63 percent is the highest in the Americas, according to official statistics. (Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)
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Body Art Festival in Venezuela

Dancers for the Art Colour Ballet from Poland perform during the sixth World Meeting of Body Art in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP) Continue reading »

Artist Highlights Mothers of Victims of Violence in Venezuela

Volunteers put up large portraits of women whose children were victims of violence in Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 19. Close to 52 five-metre high portraits were pasted on walls of poor and commercial areas of the city as part of a project called “Esperanza” (hope) by French artist JR. The project is in line with JR’s world project “Inside Out”, which aims to highlight stories about ordinary people through large portraits displayed on outdoor facades. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters) Continue reading »