Despite carnival frenzy gripping most of the Latin American continent, in Venezuela the reality is rather different.
Blackouts, soaring prices and inflation have meant that many carnival goers and national tourists have had to put their vacation plans on hold.
Governor of Miranda state, Henrique Capriles, estimates that visitors to Miranda during the carnival season has dropped by around 40 percent, affecting local businesses who depend on carnival’s yearly boost to their finances, daily El Tiempo reports.
The same phenomenon can be noted across the country’s coastal bus terminals and on the beaches in the nearby state of Vargas. While previously filled with all-night revellers, the beaches are empty this year.
“This has been an atypical year, an atypical carnival as a result of the economic crisis that we are living in this country.” Capriles commented.
The governor also outlined the average Venezuelan’s spending costs during a carnival beachside trip “a person spends around 5,000 bolivars (between $25 to $794 depending on the exchange rate) and a family will spend around 20,000 bolivars ($100 to $3,175),”
These total costs greatly exceed an average Venezuelan monthly minimum salary, currently calculated at around 9,000 bolivars or $45.
For many mothers, even buying costumes and party outfits for their children is now an impossible luxury. Iron Man, Zorro and outfits from Disney’s Frozen range from around 8,000 to 15,000 bolivars at the local market.
As many Venezuelans continue to struggle to purchase toilet paper each week, carnival, it appears, has had to take a back seat.
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