Venezuelans Turn to Digging Through Trash as Food Crisis Intensifies

Saturday, August 20, 2016
By Paul Martin

Venezuelans Arrive Early to Trash Dumps in Search of Freshest Scraps
AUGUST 19, 2016

People all over Venezuela head to city dumps in hopes of finding food or scraps that can be exchanged or sold for food.

This situation has become increasingly common in Los Puertos de Altagracia, the capital of the municipality of Miranda in the state of Zulia. There, citizens look through the debris of what bakeries, among other businesses, have discarded in the hopes of making it through the week.

“People come here from neighboring areas of Mother Mary of St. Joseph, Punta de Leiva, Punta de Piedras and La Guardarraya sectors,” one inhabitant, who did not want to be named, said. “Parents come with their children to see what they can get to eat.”

Henry Quintero and his girlfriend Jackeline Gutierrez described having to wait for the arrival of garbage trucks as a strategy for finding the best food.

“Surviving is what we do. Here we get bread, flour or wheat dough disposed in bakeries, with which to make arepas or bread. We also pull out vegetables and fruits. Of course, they are not very good,” Quintero said. “We have six people in the family — my four children, my wife and me. Nowadays we rely only on what we get here.”

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