i haven't been here long but every moment so far has surpassed every possible expectation i could have had.
the people here are incredible- smart, political, progressive, proactive, positive, confident, hopeful, and really eager to talk with us and share their experiences. we are also being guided around by charles hardy for the first week here, who wrote an amazing book about his experiences in caracas, and he is so insanely hooked up that we are sometimes experiencing more things in one day than i would have expected from the whole trip.
on our very first day here we were invited to witness and participate in a sort of procession/celebration in a town called mareche where 45 landless families were granted a huge lot of redistributed land. one of the families involved had lived on the land for generations and it had been bought out from them by some rich dude and it was never used, but they were kicked off because they didn't have the legal title. with the land redistribution act in the new constitution, they are taking (buying them from their current owners) "latifundios", which are large unused plots of land, and giving them to groups of people in need with the agreement that they will farm the land.
there was a big march, a chain cutting celebration, and then a bunch of people spoke and threw a party afterward. it was amazing!
this is the land that they were given
on the second day we went to some museums in caracas. i saw a stuffed dodo bird in the museo de ciencias.
it blew my mind... apparently they went extinct in the 1600s so it probably wasn't real, because other than that the museum was kind of ghetto.
these remind me of cabellas
at el museo de bellas artes there was an incredibly beautiful installation/sculpture called cubo de nylon by jesus soto, a venezuelan artist
andrew, there in the back, is a separate art form unto himself
then eva golinger came to where we were staying and spoke to us. eva golinger is an american/venezuelan citizen/ex-immigration lawyer and the author of the chavez code, bush vs. chavez, and most recently, la telarana imperial.
she's been uncovering all sorts of disturbing plans that the US government has to take down venezuela (which so far have failed, obviously, but are still in the works and going stronger than ever even with obama at the reigns) through the freedom of information act and she's a leading expert on all of this stuff and buddy-buddy with chavez now.
we met with banmujer, an amazing women's bank/feminist education and economic resource
we went to the bolivarian university and hung out with nelson, the head of the student political groups, and he took me and a couple other people to TV avila, which is this awesome media school/recording studio/tv station, that's all government funded but completely autonomous and young and fun and progressive
we went to the ministry of education and finally out to the bars.
then! we went to barlovento, which is a coastal town and we learned how to make chocolate on a cacao plantation
and went to an afro-venezuelan university where they spoke to us about the ammendment being voted on feb 15th.
the ammendment is to allow people in political office unlimited terms. so, every six years they come up for re-election, and every three years they can be voted out of office with a referendum.
nelson asked us to write out our opinions on the ammendment, and a few of us sent them to the ministry of education's magazine called moral y luces to be published.
chavez reads the magazine, so it's only a matter of time before he reads all about me and my solidarity and i become famous here
and today we went to the beach and the water was warm and there were pina coladas and cuba libres all around.
now i'm back in caracas, and i'm heading to barquisimeto in a couple days.
that's a lot of stuff for 5 days, i imagine things will start to slow down once we leave caracas and split up. i'm leaving out most of it because this is getting super long and it's pretty late here, but my next entry will be pictures that will hopefully show the rest.
my friend anna and i have come up with an idea that i'm really excited about...
as a way to bring the revolution and its ideals (peoples' power, the nation is a school) back home with us we're starting a mural project. we're going to make some portable murals to hang around campus and downtown and hopefully organize a way to find a wall downtown also. the murals here are amazing
i saw one on my first day that had a girl crying, it was all gray and it said "every day 30,000 people die due to capitalism"
even though i have loved every second of this, and i'm pretty sure it's the best country in the world, i miss my familia and amigos back home a little bit and i hope everyone's enjoying their winter 8-)
zamora vive vive! la lucha sigue sigue!
Nos vamos como vinimos...gritando Libertad!
4 years ago