Los Roques "People" continued ...
Italians seduced by the love of nature.
"Italians like this kind of beach of white sands" explains an Italian woman who arrived as a tourist 9 years ago and decided to stay. "Los Roques are quite famous in Italy, there is a lot of publicity there, it is one of those places that must be discovered". She owns a posada with her Venezuelan husband for 6 years now. Italians are just ahead of time, representing the future industrialized Worlds middle class dream, explains a tourist who has been here 3 weeks..
"Urban soul has no place here. Those who chose Los Roques to live in is because they do not need anything from the city. This is an essential place; a bathing suit, bare feet, if you change that it makes no sense" it is said and while saying that in spite of the non urban setting, there are places where you can have a cup of coffee and good restaurants where to eat. Again "There has been an exchange; people who came from abroad brought a new working style. Personally I took many things from this place: living in nature; an instinctive way of living which is beautiful and that you loose in the city. You lose contact with nature. I have learnt a lot of things from the local people here, how to live, how to love, how to clean fish, how to fish. Some of us have taught the local people how to develop tourism in the right way". The community in Gran Roque is a mixture of people and cultures whose common characteristics is the urge they feel for nature (You could call them "Nuevo Hippies" as Sergio says, born and raised in the capital of Caracas or Copenhagen. The children of foreigners are Roqueno's and this makes any existing differences smaller.
In fact Venezuela has as one of the only countries in the world never had any racial problems, probably due to its very relaxed and non demanding lifestyle, due to its geographically position and underground wealth, not found anywhere else in the universe.
The Authority: a civil boss and a policeman
Before the creation of the Maximum Authority in 1990, the maximum archipelago administrative authority was the police boss, who also worked a civil boss and under certain occasions as a judge and had under his command 8 policemen, who by the way did not wear uniform and used a rod as their weapon. In 1978 all administrative aspects were handled by the National Park Institute for protection and managing of the archipelago. Some of these functions included air traffic control.
At present the Jefatura former Autoridad Unica de Area is appointed by the President of the republic and whose functions are to manage and direct the affairs of the archipelago. There is direct contact with the community through tourist operator associations and fishermen who are organized in order to improve the general conditions and economy in the islands.
An imported patron saint.
It is no wonder that Roqueno's religious traditions are inherited from Margarita. The cult of the Virgin del Valle, patron saint of fishermen is a tradition kept with passion by the inhabitants of Los Roques. On September the 8th, the patron saint fishermen carry the virgin on their boats and sail around the islands. Future