Los Roques "People" continued 4...
From 1990 on the urban growth was impelled by tourism. the traditional fisherman shacks became modern Posadas / lodges. A woman named Magalis (posada Magalis) arrived here in the 70´s and she remembers that back then "the mangrove was used as coal and for cooking and there just a few tourists usually staying on boats, back then there was only 1 posada (today the Dona Carmen). It was common to see tourists sleeping on the beach or camping in tents.
Many foreigners mainly Italians in the beginning of the nineties who arrived as tourists, decided to stay in the islands, having had a key role in stimulating the growth of ecological lodges (hotels with more than 12 rooms can not be built anywhere in Los Roques).
The Tourist development also increased with offers from Airlines located in Margarita islands that during the nineties together with "the new Caribbean destinies" succeeded in offering cheap travel packages to the Caribbean from Europe and Canada. Before then travelers would arrive by costly charter boats or flights or in own airplane. These days you can buy the very popular (full day Los Roques) which are a one day tourist packages. Tourist demand has increased from a few thousand visitors to 80 thousand per year. At present there are some 75 (61 are in use) concessions for posadas and 15 concessions (10 are in use) for sailboats.
Due to the popular life and commercial activity in Los Roques, some fishermen has retired comfortably early. In this moment there are no concessions or posadas, nor houses for sale. We receive about one e-mail a week from people that would like to by real estate or a posada in Los Roques, and I can only say that with patience it might be possible, if you are a real nature lover and has the capital needed.
To day all Posadas and Sailboats provides all the necessary comfort required by the average traveler thanks to the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the crazy sailboat captains that during the nineties made Los Roques known to the selective bohemian traveler, now being more common all over the world.
Today Los Roques is still a reasonably priced travel destination compared to the rest of the Caribbean, so come an visit this natural paradise while it last, if you can get a reservation.
Part of the tourist growth is due to an improvement in basic services such as water and electric light. At first water was found from wells in the ground. Kerosene lamps made with bottles and a wick were also quite common. "At six in the evening everybody would go to bed with their doors opened or closed" said an old fisherman. During the second half of the 90´s, growth was stopped due to lack of space. At present there is a wide variety of Posadas to chose from according to price and comfort. There is no doubt that services are better now than what they were 5 or 10 years ago. A lodge keeper says "There is not really luxury here, luxury here is that" and points at the crystal clear water. One measure adopted in Gran Roque is the classification of garbage (organic or non organic) for its storage and later on to be burnt accordingly. >>