Venezuela's largest impoverished district marks 400th anniversary with kite festival

CARACAS (Reuters) - In Venezuela's sprawling impoverished Petare neighborhood on the east end of Caracas, dozens of children and residents flew kites to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of what was once a small village outside the capital. Petare was founded in 1621 by Spanish settlers who took advantage of the lush mountain surroundings to grow crops including coffee, cocoa and sugar cane, according to Venezuelan historians. During the 20th century, the area was settled by migrants who moved to cities as the country's oil industry took off and is now home to more than 1 million people who range from the extremely poor to middle class professionals.

Reuters February 19, 2021 00:11:01 IST
Venezuela's largest impoverished district marks 400th anniversary with kite festival

Venezuelas largest impoverished district marks 400th anniversary with kite festival

CARACAS (Reuters) - In Venezuela's sprawling impoverished Petare neighborhood on the east end of Caracas, dozens of children and residents flew kites to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of what was once a small village outside the capital.

Petare was founded in 1621 by Spanish settlers who took advantage of the lush mountain surroundings to grow crops including coffee, cocoa and sugar cane, according to Venezuelan historians.

During the 20th century, the area was settled by migrants who moved to cities as the country's oil industry took off and is now home to more than 1 million people who range from the extremely poor to middle class professionals.

The area now suffers from gang violence and chronic problems with power and water, but its residents have cultivated a sense of pride at facing adversity with a smile.

"Given the situation of the country, this is the best thing that has happened" in Petare, said Omaira Montiel, 47, a homemaker who has lived half her life in Petare. "I'm happy."

Children and adolescents spent hours flying kites from a hilltop with majestic views of Caracas as a singers performed and a symphonic orchestra of youth musicians played in the background.

The activity helps ensure that "traditions are not lost," said Marisela Moreno, 55, another Petare resident.

"Petare means a feeling of commitment and dedication", said opposition leader and former mayor, Carlos Ocariz. "Politics is about spending time with the community."

(Reporting by Efrain Otero, writing by Mayela Armas and Vivian Sequera; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.