MATURIN, VENEZUELA: FOOD AND POLITICS

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Before we were able to get to a grocery store, we were taken to a bakery for breakfast. I got a coffee, cinnamon roll, and an apple. I was told that I was eating the most expensive fruit in Venezuela because apples are only imported.

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This woman’s face is everywhere because she is the governor of the state of Monagas and she is a Chavez loyalist. She just won the recent election in a close battle with the opposition.

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Still trying to find myself around the food here. I don’t have any spices like salt and pepper or anything, so on the weekend I made black beans, rice, and a scrambled egg with a strange mixture of mayo, mustard, and honey as a sauce, and wrapped it in a tortilla. So, “Jackie’s Bland Breakfast Burrito?”

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There he is again. We’re not really hearing anything about his current condition anymore.

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Taken to an outdoor market on Sunday. Like most markets of this kind around the world, especially Asia. The smell of fish permeates the atmosphere and reasonably priced fruits and vegetables can be purchased.

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Egg seller.

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Another bland dish i concocted: Black beans, rice, and sauteed eggplant with sliced bananas to give it a little sweetness. So, “Jackie’s Mad Maturin Mixture?”

13JAN13. Maturin, Venezuela.

MATURIN, VENEZUELA: 1722 OR 1960

The official date of the foundation of Maturin is December 7, 1960. However, historical archives show an original foundation date of 1722. Its founder was a Spanish governor and it looks like the Spanish originally came to this area on a mission to convert the Indians who lived near Maturin.

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Plaza Bolivar

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In front of the Plaza Bolivar is the church San Simon. It’s the oldest church in Maturin, built some time between 1884 and 1887.

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This is the Governor’s residence, also facing Plaza Bolivar. The situation with governor is quite interesting. The current governor is a woman named Yelitza, a pro-Chavez (most of them are) candidate. The former governor is a man who was nicknamed “Gato,” meaning “cat.” He was beloved by the people of Maturin. He was pro-Chavez, but lost his standing with the president when he fought for his people in a dispute over water. The water had gotten polluted and wasn’t safe to consume in any way. The national government denied it, but Gato knew better. Now, he’s gone. Retired, never to be heard form again and a new minion, Yelitza, is in power here

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The cathedral Nuestra Senora del Carmen. Construction began in 1961, completed in 1981. Roman style.

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Separation of Church and State?

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The plaza in front of the cathedral.

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13JAN13. Maturin, Venezuela.