Caracas, Feb 25 (EFE).- In search of respite amid an ever-worsening economic crisis, Venezuelans turn to festivities, a rare opportunity to escape their day to day struggle for “a moment of joy.”
Lack of water supply, power cuts and hunger are common practices in Petare, a slum in Caracas and the largest in Venezuela.
But Carnival, an annual festival in which it is common to dress-up, with festive decorations, face-paint and costumes brightening up the slum.
Despite a lack of resources, community leaders have organized a joyful gathering in a soup kitchen for children, who have dressed up as superheroes for the special day.
“We chose superheroes as the theme to make our children see (…) that we have tools to take care of ourselves despite what is happening,” Anabel Rodriguez, a mother and leader of the Pan de Vida soup kitchen, tells Efe.
“It’s giving our children a moment of joy,” she adds.
The economic crisis and inflation have tested the skills of Venezuelans, who cannot afford balloons or decorations and have had to resort to creative inventions.
Mothers have been preparing themselves since the beginning of February to gather ingredients for traditional snacks and collect recycling materials to make Wonder Woman tiaras, Captain America shields and other decorations.
Since 2017, Venezuela’s economy has been hit by hyperinflation, leaving 94.5% of the population under the poverty line, according to a study by the Andrés Bello Catholic University.
“No-one is buying costumes because of the country’s situation; people only think about food. When I first started working in this store, we would sell up to 70 costumes for Carnival. So far in February, we have sold 15,” a salesman at a costume store in Caracas, Edison Perez, told Efe. EFE