Tuesday, 15 February 2011

How Venezuelans destroy their Land of Grace

When Columbus arrived to Venezuelan coasts, he wrote he saw the Land of Grace. He thought he had arrived to Paradise. He visited what is known now as Delta, Paria and Margarita. Soon afterwards other Europeans got to the other similar places on the centre and western part of the country. We don't know what the first native Americans thought when they arrived to those places over 13000 years ago, but they probably thought in a similar way: this IS cool!

The place is definitely gorgeous, but we, the descendants of that melting pot that became Venezuela, are destroying that Land of Grace.

The maps you see here show municipio Silva (red) and Monseñor Iturriza (pink) in Falcón state and municipio Juan José Mora (red), in Carabobo.

Between the first two municipios you have the national park of Morrocoy: lush flora, exotic fauna, the warmest waters of the Caribbean, chorals left and right, lots of little islands and white sand galore.

Unfortunately, there are towns within and next Morrocoy and those towns keep expanding. The children of those who were born there go on building and building in an area that is ecologically fragile. Why should they leave if there are no jobs for their skills elsewhere? The place is also chock-a-block with marinas for the rich and the military caste, who have their yachts all over the place. I have seen many yachts there that have nothing to envy to those of Europe's royals and Arab magnates. Most rubbish goes directly into the park. Several times a year, the park authorities have to carry out special "cleaning operations" to get rid of at least part of the rubbish. But you can only do so much once that rubissh is in.

Some years ago Chávez took the decision to make access to the park absolutely free. No comprehensive plan was undertaken to keep it tidy. Until then you had to pay a very small entrance fee, small even for a humble worker. Since then visitors' numbers have skyrocketed and people simply do not appreciate what they are visiting. The park's facilities collapse all the time.

On top of that, the whole coast from Puerto Cabello to Coro and beyond is now full with buildings that destroy what once was a beautiful landscape.

Municipio Juan José Mora is next to municipio Silva but in Carabobo state. There are some beautiful beaches there as well, but they are also going to pot because of the environmental degradation. The place is also home to El Palito Refinery, one of the largest oil refineries in South America. PDVSA, Venezuela's state oil company, also has petrochemical stations closeby. Lots of money is generated in that area and oil professionals have very high salaries there, compared to the general population.

And yet: you just have to get around and see what an environmental mess it is.

It is time for Venezuelans to wake up and decide to recover the land of Grace they have been destroying for so long.

My thanks go to David for providing the pictures.

Tucacas, just a few meters from the Morrocoy National Park

Not far from a special reserve

A little bit to the North along Falcón's coast

Esta foto es mía y la coloqué en Commons. Ahora alguien quiere borrarla de allí. Por favor, no borrarlo.  Me hace perder el tiempo.

Morón, in Carabobo, very close to PDVSA


  1. what a pity.
    venezuela is such a great place, it's such a bad thing to destroy such a great place :(

  2. Mauro,

    Hi. Indeed, it is a terrible thing. People are destroying a paradise. We must tell everobody about what is happening.


1) Try to be constructive and creative. The main goal of this blog is not to bash but to propose ideas and, when needed, to denounce
2) Do not use offensive language
3) Bear in mind that your comments can be edited or deleted at the blogger's sole discretion
4) If your comment would link back to a site promoting hatred of ethnic groups, nations, religions or the like, don't bother commenting here.
5) Read point 4 again