Venezuela – Living in Harmony with Nature

The first people in what is now Venezuela were believed to have arrived there around the 14th millennium (around 3000 B.C.) By the time the Spanish conquerors came, millions of Indians already inhabited the region. There were many different Indian tribes such as the Pemon, Warao, Piaroa, Panare, Ye’kuana and Yanomami. They differed in certain rituals and customs but their basic traditional diet was the same: corn, rice, yucca, wheat, sweet potatoes, beans, yams, potatoes, sugarcane, oranges, lemons, coconuts, papayas, avocados, mangoes, guavas, tomatoes, pineapples, cassavas and other fruit and root vegetables.

“The Indians were very much advanced in agricultural techniques- -including irrigation and terracing methods. This is something that has puzzled the European conquerors for centuries. Nobody knows who taught them such techniques. There were also ancient drawings or carvings found on the rocks like the ones on the Guayana highlands located in the Bolivar state. As to when exactly they were done and by whom remains a mystery until today,” says Maria Sabrina. “From a high altitude, you can spot circular clearings in the lush forests. These are called ‘conucos’- -land parcels cultivated by the Indians to grow their healthy staple diet. From the point of view of European explorers, the Venezuelan environment looked extremely hostile- -it seemed like they could never grow anything there! But the Indians were such great reservoirs of ancestral knowledge. And this knowledge has allowed them to live in perfect harmony with their natural environment.

The Indians were very much advanced in agricultural techniques…

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