Dec 28, 2007

Venezuela Part III

The food here consists of a lot of queso and jamon - ham and cheese! They make arrepas which is a fried sandwich and it is filled with just about anything you can think of. They make a dough out of masa flour which has the consistency of Southern grits. They make it into a patty and then fry it, cut it in half like a pita pocket and fill it.

The Maracuchos eat a lot of beef, lomito, as well. It is grilled and served with avocado salad, arrepas, plantains, and of course cheese. The drink of choice, when it isn't whiskey and water, is fruit nectar which is like a thick juice from what ever fruit you want and it is very good. Oh and coffee! They have great cafecito which means little coffee - it is like a cross between cappuccino and espresso.

Venezuela is more Caribbean than Spanish. The climate is different across the country because it is so wide, but it is always hot in Maracaibo. There are palm trees every where but not much vegetation.

The traditional music is from a saxophone, bas drum, snare drum and trumpet. It sounds like music from the Andes mountains combined with New Orleans Jazz! The popular music now is called reggatone which is like hip hop and reggae music combined and it is big in the discos.

As different as Maracaibo is on the surface the people there still face many of the same issues as Peru. There is political unrest. There is poverty. There is violence and theft. This is a city trying to carve itself out of its past and into its future and no one knows what that will look like - not even the Maracuchos.

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