Venezuelans are transforming the El Avila National Park into a public bathroom after the country was hit by a power crisis which affected the delivery of public utilities including water. Every day, hundreds of people in Caracas are leaving the city and trekking up on Avila’s winding trails to take a bath, wash clothes, and bring a good amount of water to bring home. They have been gathering the waterways found inside the park of 315 square miles daily after a national blackout failed a power grid that resulted in the stoppage of delivering basic services including electricity and water.
Gorge Eglis Escalante, a school bus driver was, with his teenage daughter and was spotted in a secluded area in the park to wash their dirty clothes. He said that he never imagined in his entire life washing his own personal clothes in the park, and the government was responsible for the crisis that has happened in the country. He further added that his neighbourhood has been without water for nearly a month.
Environmental activists have raised their fears and concerns of the possible damage it will bring to the park as garbage has been littered all over the place including shampoo, water bottles, cardboard, used clothes, food wrappers, and more. To make matters worse, wildfires have also hit the mountainside a few weeks ago that also added to the damage of the park.
The national blackout and the water crisis come at the time when the government of President Nicolas Maduro is facing a challenge from critic and opposition leader Juan Guaido as they are struggling for power. The opposition has accused the Venezuelan Government on mismanagement which resulted in the economic collapse of the country. They have been trying to dislodge Maduro from office as they are being supported by the U.S. and 50 other countries.