Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.


Indigenous Crowned
A young Cospes Indian, distinguished by his lofty crown of feathers, smiles at others across the street.
Pauliteiros in Action
Pauliteiros dance in honor of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers, on the road that connects Mucusún to San Juan, near Tostes.
San Jose de Acequias
One of the main towns in the Pueblos del Sur de Mérida, lost in a green valley crossed by a river of the same name.
Dances with Locainas de Santa Rita
Locainas (men dressed as ladies) dance ecstatically in a corner of the central square of San José de Acequias. The locainas are just some of the characters in the Pueblos del Sur's busy party calendar.
shopping
A young resident of San José de Acequias visits an old shop in the pueblo, located in a colonial house in the central square.
Sooty Indians
Blackened Cospes Indians continue to resist Hispanic evangelization in Mucusún, a hamlet on the outskirts of San José de Acequias.
Pauliteiros Transaction
Two Pauliteros complete a small occasion business at the end of a long exhibition of their art in honor of San Isidro.
on the sidelines of the party
Carolina holds her son Jean Alejandro in the old courtyard of a colonial house in the heart of San José de Acequias.
Convenient break
Two Cospes Indians rest from their dances in honor of the Virgin of Coromoto, next to a roadside house in Mucusún.
Pauliteiro de Colo
Father holds a small pauliteiro from whom not even the animation of his counterparts together with Mucuambin steals his sleep.
Cospes friends
Young people masked as indigenous people aboard a pick-up truck after the dances in honor of the Virgin of Coromoto.
The Star of the Piece
Young actress from San José de Acequias sings in one of the musical excerpts of the youth play she stars.
Little Pirate and Viajero
Dona Marilin Fernández raises her grandson Jean Alejandro next to the game board she showed him.
Pauliteiro in Burlap
One of the many pauliteiros present at the party, dressed in his own fashion.
Unapproved helmet
Pauliteros head to San José de Acequias,. one of them still wearing his terrifying furry mask, despite the strong sun that was felt in the Andean region of the Pueblos del Sur.
Indian Patience
A native of the Pueblos del Sur dressed as a Cospes Indian waits for companions to proceed to San José de Acequias, where the party is supposed to continue.
In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.

as we descend from Merida highlands (1.610 m) down a long canyon road, the sheltered scenery between steep slopes becomes arid. And, soon, stony, dotted with cacti.

Almost half an hour of slope later, we reach Las González.

We find the gateway to the Pueblos del Sur decorated with a panel semi-political that classifies the destination as touristic and, at the same time, promotes the figure of Marcos Diaz Orellana, the governor Bolivarian of State.

The Chama river splutters there, accelerated by the slope that makes it flow even faster into Maracaibo, the great lake from which, when it is in the political and economic conditions for it, Venezuela extracts most of its oil wealth.

We crossed it by an old iron bridge with a field look. On the opposite bank begins the ascent to the mountains and valleys where the final destination end.

The Andean Path To Pueblos del Sur

The asphalt road proves to be worn, winding, increasingly narrow. The undoing of one of its curves and counter-curves reveals to us a motorcyclist-artist in the region. It had stopped by a clayey wall. There he worked on a commemorative sculpture, with a knife raised and a helmet placed with the visor down, to protect himself from the dust caused by his excavation.

Due to the deliberate stop of the bus and the curiosity of the multinational group of passengers, the traffic practically stops flowing.

We are forced to continue on our way. We only stopped when we arrived at a village called Mucusún. There, we are surprised by a band of blackened natives dressed in wicker skirts and crowns of feathers and feathers. They were all solidary pauliteiros.

They danced to the squeaky music of a cellist accompanied by two guitar players and a choreography that favors the release of movements.

Pauliteiro in Burlap

One of the many pauliteiros present at the party, dressed in his own fashion.

The Indigenous-Christian Legend of the Virgin of Coromoto

The exhibition of those who informed us that they were Cospes Indians paid homage to the Virgin of Coromoto. At one time, the Cospes were refugees from the colonization and forced evangelization of the Spaniards. Until the Virgin appeared to them in the Guanare jungle where they took refuge and urged them to be baptized and to convert.

Almost all indigenous people accepted. This was not the case with the chief – named Coromoto – who feared losing his importance. Coromoto fled. The Virgin appeared to him again. Angry, Coromoto tried to grab her but the Virgin disappeared, materialized in a small plant print that would later be found and is venerated by Venezuelans.

As for Coromoto, he was bitten by a poisonous snake. He returned to Guanare dying, where, in a trance, he began to ask for his own baptism. Saved from death by the Virgin and converted, he became an apostle. He begged a group of Indians who were still resisting to convert.

Later, with the Catholic name Ángel Custódio, he died of old age.

The Cospes Indigenous Resume Their Exhibition

The Cospes dance takes place between an elevated plantation and an opposite rural house, covered with aged colonial tiles.

When he finishes, the chief of the “indigenous” inaugurates a speech as pompous as possible in which he praises the arrival of visitors to FITVEN, the Venezuelan international tourism fair that had given rise to the whole stage.

Indigenous Crowned

And, above all, the initiative of the Ministry of Tourism of its Bolivarian homeland to make those remote places a tourist destination.

We confront Coromoto's actor with cameras at the ready. The chief returns to his role as leader of the sooty indigenous people. Take a wooden cupid bow and make yourself even wilder.

Aim your bow and the tiny arrow. At the same time, it hides its face and emits the screams and howls of a panicked creature, interspersed with snorts of fury.

Sooty Indians

Blackened Cospes Indians continue to resist Hispanic evangelization in Mucusún, a hamlet on the outskirts of San José de Acequias.

We followed the act until the Indian Cospe put an end to it. After which we return to the bus blessed by the sound of a maraca that starts playing in our direction.

The Pauliteiros, Locos and Locations Exuberant Mucuambin

We continued into the mountain range pursued by a van pick up loaded with spit Indians who would join the party later on. When we reach the outskirts of Mucuambin, the scene is repeated. This time, in color.

Pauliteiros in Action

Pauliteiros dance in honor of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers, on the road that connects Mucusún to San Juan, near Tostes.

We went down to the side of the road. There, they'll arrest us with frantic pauliteiros dances, several in gaudy fringed costumes, in the style of caretos from the Americas, in honor of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers.

Each one displays its irreverent look. Some wear masks that are hideous heads of goats, cows and other domestic animals.

Unapproved helmet

Pauliteros head to San José de Acequias,. one of them still wearing his terrifying furry mask, despite the strong sun that was felt in the Andean region of the Pueblos del Sur.

Fascinating eternalizations of totemic cults and rituals of the peoples chibcha e Arawak with which the Spanish colonists struggled in the XNUMXth century and which they ended up annihilating or assimilating.

Pauliteiro de Colo

Father holds a small pauliteiro from whom not even the animation of his counterparts together with Mucuambin steals his sleep.

Even babies are subject to tradition. We see them fall asleep in their laps, in reduced clothes with the same standards as the elders. Meanwhile, some adults are perfect in their childishness. They ride on wooden horses in the middle of a wheel of tireless sticks.

Also in Mucuambin, the show reaches its end.

Once again, we return to the organization's bus ride. A folkloric band of motorcyclists follows us, driven by the satisfaction of their duty done.

San José, Heart of the Pueblos del Sur

After a few more curves, almost always over abysses, and a huge slope that crosses the valley full of cornfields of the San José River, we enter the central square of the homonymous city, what is considered the nuclear settlement of the Pueblos del Sur.

San Jose de Acequias

One of the main towns in the Pueblos del Sur de Mérida, lost in a green valley crossed by a river of the same name.

Next to the police station, a black mural joins the trio Chávez, Castro and Morales. Validates the municipality's Bolivarianism with the maxim "We are not willing to leave a homeland reduced to rubble by capitalism".

An anxious crowd awaited the arrival of the entourage, under the shade of the trees and lined up in a dizzying diagonal, under the sheds of the centuries-old houses. We barely enter the square, instead of crazy, it is a battalion of locals also with big hair and in long antique dresses in bright colors that assume the prominence.

Dances with Locainas de Santa Rita

Locainas (men dressed as ladies) dance ecstatically in a corner of the central square of San José de Acequias. The locainas are just some of the characters in the Pueblos del Sur's busy party calendar.

Make the inevitable resound sticks on each other. This rhythm, synchronized with that of the drums, keeps the residents used to that animation only at other times of the year, in a kind of trance.

The owner of the best located business in the village, wearing a cowboy hat, doesn't ask for help. Invoices many extra bolivars, sheltered between a weathered wooden counter and untidy shelves.

shopping

A young resident of San José de Acequias visits an old shop in the pueblo, located in a colonial house in the central square.

Also Marilin Fernández, the neighbor next door, gives in to the lure of profit. Take advantage of the availability of your decan glacier and improvise your own wine cellar which it marks with a simple rectangle of paper written in marker over the window.

“Come and see my wood oven!”. She invites us to make up for her youngest daughter's rebellious resistance to socializing with outsiders.

We don't think twice. inside the home, we find spartan and dismal rooms but also with an open-air central patio that would have changed little or nothing since the colonial construction of the house.

In that same patio, Carolina produces herself with great care in the mirror, always keeping an eye on Marilin's grandson, even so, hoping to still catch the best of the pilgrimage.

Little Pirate and Viajero

Dona Marilin Fernández raises her grandson Jean Alejandro next to the game board she showed him.

The End of the Evening Party and the End of the Soggy Afternoon

Outside, the celebration had moved to a small ranch to which authorities at the time kept access restricted, in order to avoid an unwanted flood.

On the farm's lawn, there is a lunch banquet and a wider display of traditional Pueblos del Sur life and festivals.

There is a historic warehouse under self-service. And a wait that some visitors are subject to in order to get glasses of freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. Under nearby sheds, another group of musicians play themes famous among the natives. Sellers show handicrafts and the flavor of the region's main delicacies.

We also joined the enthusiastic audience of a musical, female and youth theater play that addresses the difficulties in finding the right man for marriage.

The Star of the PiecePitch-black clouds had long taken over the valley. As soon as the play ends, it starts to rain down in pots. All of San José takes refuge from the more than guaranteed water.

We stopped between the farm and the central square, next to a group of teenagers who had finished some sporting event and were rewarded with homemade ice cream packed in bags.

One of them hears us talking and asks if we are Portuguese. “Well, it seemed to me that I was recognizing that way of speaking. There are a few more out there. They haven't talked like you for a long time, but I'm sure some understand you better than I do!”.

We wait for the downpour to give way to the lull and we return to the heart of that Pueblo del Sur in ecstasy, attentive to the signs of life of the unexpected descendants of Luso-Venezuelans.

Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Mérida, Venezuela

Merida to Los Nevados: in the Andean Ends of Venezuela

In the 40s and 50s, Venezuela attracted 400 Portuguese but only half stayed in Caracas. In Mérida, we find places more similar to the origins and the eccentric ice cream parlor of an immigrant portista.
Mérida, Venezuela

The Vertiginous Renovation of the World's Highest Cable Car

Underway from 2010, the rebuilding of the Mérida cable car was carried out in the Sierra Nevada by intrepid workers who suffered firsthand the magnitude of the work.
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.

Gran Sabana, Venezuela

A Real Jurassic Park

Only the lonely EN-10 road ventures into Venezuela's wild southern tip. From there, we unveil otherworldly scenarios, such as the savanna full of dinosaurs in the Spielberg saga.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Henri Pittier NP, Venezuela

PN Henri Pittier: between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera da Costa

In 1917, botanist Henri Pittier became fond of the jungle of Venezuela's sea mountains. Visitors to the national park that this Swiss created there are, today, more than they ever wanted
Margarita Island ao Mochima NP, Venezuela

Margarita Island to Mochima National Park: a very Caribbean Caribe

The exploration of the Venezuelan coast justifies a wild nautical party. But, these stops also reveal life in cactus forests and waters as green as the tropical jungle of Mochima.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
safari
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Architecture & Design
Cemeteries

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Adventure
Volcanoes

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Ceremonies and Festivities
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Luderitz, Namibia
Cities
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Meal
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
the projectionist
Culture
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
Philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
Traveling
Yala NPElla-Candia, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Vanuatu, Cruise in Wala
Ethnic
Wala, Vanuatu

Cruise ship in Sight, the Fair Settles In

In much of Vanuatu, the days of the population's “good savages” are behind us. In times misunderstood and neglected, money gained value. And when the big ships with tourists arrive off Malekuka, the natives focus on Wala and billing.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Fort São Filipe, Cidade Velha, Santiago Island, Cape Verde
History
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

Fajãzinha, Flores Island
Islands
Flores Island, Azores

The Atlantic ends of the Azores and Portugal

Where, to the west, even on the map the Americas appear remote, the Ilha das Flores is home to the ultimate Azorean idyllic-dramatic domain and almost four thousand Florians surrendered to the dazzling end-of-the-world that welcomed them.
Oulu Finland, Passage of Time
Winter White
Oulu, Finland

Oulu: an Ode to Winter

Located high in the northeast of the Gulf of Bothnia, Oulu is one of Finland's oldest cities and its northern capital. A mere 220km from the Arctic Circle, even in the coldest months it offers a prodigious outdoor life.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Literature
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Argentinean flag on the Perito Moreno-Argentina lake-glacier
Nature
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Windward Side, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, Netherlands
Natural Parks
Saba, The Netherlands

The Mysterious Dutch Queen of Saba

With a mere 13km2, Saba goes unnoticed even by the most traveled. Little by little, above and below its countless slopes, we unveil this luxuriant Little Antille, tropical border, mountainous and volcanic roof of the shallowest european nation.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
UNESCO World Heritage
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
Characters
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Glass Bottom Boats, Kabira Bay, Ishigaki
Beaches
Ishigaki, Japan

The Exotic Japanese Tropics

Ishigaki is one of the last islands in the stepping stone that stretches between Honshu and Taiwan. Ishigakijima is home to some of the most amazing beaches and coastal scenery in these parts of the Pacific Ocean. More and more Japanese who visit them enjoy them with little or no bathing.
Pilgrims at the top, Mount Sinai, Egypt
Religion
Mount Sinai, Egypt

Strength in the Legs, Faith in God

Moses received the Ten Commandments on the summit of Mount Sinai and revealed them to the people of Israel. Today, hundreds of pilgrims climb, every night, the 4000 steps of that painful but mystical ascent.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Society
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Everglades National Park, Florida, United States, flight over the Everglades canals
Wildlife
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA

Florida's Great Weedy River

Anyone who flies over the south of the 27th state is amazed by the green, smooth and soggy vastness that contrasts with the surrounding oceanic tones. This unique U.S. marsh-prairie ecosystem is home to a prolific fauna dominated by 200 of Florida's 1.25 million alligators.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.