Warao women break quarantine to scavenge for food

The native Venezuelan women in Delta Amacuro travel several kilometers wearing a facemask trying to trade their crafts for food. Hunger forces them to break the isolation.

Social isolation harms the economy of indigenous families in Tucupita. Photo by Jose G. Ruiz.

By Melquiades Avila.

Warao female artisans, with facemask and their handicrafts on their backs, violated the confinement and took to the road in search of exchange of their products for food.

The reaction is provoked by the hunger that affects the indigenous families by the prolonged isolation due to the sanitary measures imposed by the Venezuelan authorities to prevent COVID-19.

Several sources confirmed that Warao families are in a critical situation in the communities located 20 kilometers from Tucupita. Waraos said to belong to ethnic groups displaced from their original communities. They also suffer health problems in their communities like HIV and malaria and severe shortages and unemployment.

You must read Warao native Venezuelans are dying of hunger: chieftains.

National Assembly lawmaker, and member of the Commission of Indigenous People, Larissa Gonzalez, said that “the Warao communities of the Delta are without water, without electricity, without schools. Hunger hits the children, women, and adults under the indolence gaze of the government,” she said.

The deputy described this situation as critical due to the isolation and also the health, food, and education deficiencies, which force them to abandon their communities.

Euclides Hernandez, a member of the Warao artisans association, says there is a collapse in the marketing of handcrafts due to the mandatory quarantine. “No artisan can reach the center of the city, which is why hunger is taking hold of Waraos families,” said Hernandez.

In the state of Delta Amacuro, the lack of transportation and the restriction of movement due to the lockdown harms the exchange and primary commercialization of 120 indigenous communities in the lower Delta and Pedernales, which means hunger, desolation, and misery in the most vulnerable communities in the area.

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