William’s family, like all the villagers of La Boca de Yaracuy, can only trust the sea to fill their plate. The two small grocery stores in the village are seeing their stock getting poorer by the day and the prices ignite.
But this rural population, including William’s family, saw its everyday life transformed by the crisis. Ever since 2013, the oil revenue collapse has greatly reduced the funding for social schemes. The rural working class is doing its best to tackle the crisis. Natural resources are replacing state aid as the means of survival. “If there’s a problem with an engine part in one of the boats, the whole crew and their families are left without food,” William says. “Spare parts are extremely difficult to find and often cost several months’ pay. The worst thing is that we’re finding it more and more difficult to survive. Corruption is rife in the upper echelons of Venezuelan society, forcing those further down the ladder to use graft too, simply in order to live or at least survive. State subsidies have funded many social policies, but they have also created, deep within every Venezuelan, an entrenched cap-in-hand mentality. So people have become entirely dependent on government money.