Caracas is the capital city of Venezuela,
a place where the contrast between modern infrastructures and the smell of pollution is giving its charm. People are moving rapidly in all directions, the hot, humid environment, every kind of noise is mixed in one single indistinguishable sound. Busy human habitat and the green palace of the animal kingdom get to coexist. It is very easy to find exotic tropical creatures, just by driving a couple of minutes to the edges of the city, however, one species comes to you, like if nature wants to say “hello, I am here.”
Credits: https://pixabay.com/en/scarlet-macaw-guacamayas-macaws-1290913/Guacamayas, a bird that has a special mission for all the people that live, work, study or just visit the metropolis. Guacamayas are parrots with very long tails and wings. Their main characteristic is the vivid colors of the plumage. It is a very attractive for pet trading; bird smuggling practices even endanger some species. At least 14 different species can currently be seen flying Caracas’s sky.
Venezuela, one of the countries with the highest inflation in the world. Currently, Venezuelans survive with less than 40 $ every month. Food shortage is another problem that gives the people of this country never-ending headaches. In recent investigations by BBC news, it came to light that to buy the necessities; most people have to do up to 6 hours in lines every day in multiple stores. Lately and at its lowest point of popularity, the government decided to make a new constitution. For these reasons that the country is now under deep political tensions that had led to anti-government protests.
Caracas a peculiar city
Over the past month’s anti-government protests have been blooming in the city, almost daily concerned citizens taking the streets in a sign of nonconformity with the government. Movement of people that is threatening the metropolis with a likely collapse.
The first thing everyone must do after waking up early in the morning is to check the social media of the Caracas metro, the national company that administrates the subway. When there are protests, they close all the stations, so it is critical to know if you need to take probably slowest subway in the world; because often it is slower than walking.
Riot police tend to control all these manifestations using tear gas, at least 700 bottles are used in a single day. This gas can be shot inside apartments, schools and even hospitals if protest moves nearby.
At nights you can hear people screaming on the streets, explosions, and gunshots, for hours. The windows of your home must remain sealed so no particle of the tear gas can get in.
Is fair to say, that all the people in the city are living a very stressful time, but if you turn your head up, you can enjoy the most colorful creatures, singing, playing and living, like if there is nothing wrong. You can call them to your window to give them some food and they will reward you with the best, animal comedy show. Every day at sunset these gracious birds will pass flying in huge groups to their nest, where they stay at night.
Nature comes to the rescue
Early this week when I was doing a line to buy fresh bread, I met my new friend Maria a 60 years old grandmother of three. It is not hard to get to know people in this line. Usually, the same individuals of the neighborhood do it every day, for at least one or two hours. She saw how I was admiring the Guacamayas doing their business and asked me: do you like them too? To that point, I had never asked myself, about these birds being something special or important. I just answered, yes I do, it is awesome how funny these animals are, they make me forget this boring line.
Maria then told me, how significant where the Guacamayas for her. She was a Spanish immigrant when she moved to Venezuela, back in 1957, her bank account was in red numbers, and options reduced. Maria started to feel depressed and hopeless; she could not find a solution. But one day when she was standing in front of her window with her eyes wet, a Guacamaya came flying. Making that playful and funny noise that is very well characteristic and know, and then stared at her with all the confidence of an old friend, asking for food, these animals are very smart, she told.
The next day more birds came to say hi, and before she realized 20 or 30 Guacamayas were screaming and demanding food outside the window. They always came at the same time in the afternoon, and at that part of the day, she was able to forget all of her problems. Because of this little parenthesis, Maria was able to recover some hope and motivate to fight and conquer her problems.
My Own Story
This story made me think about how the Guacamayas had helped me too. I started to remember; the day I broke up with my girlfriend, and I felt depressed, but these animals lift my mood up and help me to recover slowly. In many other situations, you cannot be sad when these birds are around; they deliver happiness to those who most need it. The Guacamayas are like little angels sent by God to help you in those moments of the life when your spirit is low.
I got more and more interested and started asking other people in the lines; Paying the bills, buying groceries, in the bank, using the public transport. It was strange at first, but all the people I asked had a good experience with the Guacamayas and shared a positive impact on their lives.
We all lived in an artificial word, that needs more contact with nature. People of Caracas and Venezuelans overall are having a rough time lately, where stress and fear can have a substantial presence in our daily life. Thanks to these angels we are allowed to see the life with the eyes of an innocent being that just want to play and be enjoyed, even when it is a wild creature, it opens to humans and heals their souls.