Venezuela Today

Angel Falls, Venezuela

As a Venezuelan, I can assure you that this is a crucial moment for our country. Since it's extremely rich in natural resources, is a broad and scarcely populated country, we have gotten used to living with abundance of everything: petroleum, gold, iron, cheap gasoline (even today it still remains as the cheapest gasoline on the whole planet), latest car models, trending fashion and jewelry, as well as travel—all in excess. In addition to all of that, there's an excellent climate and beautiful natural scenery. In general, the Venezuelans are cheerful, cooperative and turn everything into a laughing matter...

But, our Venezuela has changed, because of the political changes that have taken place in our country due to the drop in oil prices, which is strongly our main source of income, and also, poor management as well. The country has transitioned into the complete lack of everything, including having to stand in never-ending lines at the grocery stores to buy our food. According to our last ID numbers, we are assigned a determined day of the week in which we are allowed to buy certain foods. The youth of our country (including my only daughter), that are graduating from our own universities, which offer outstanding preparation, are fleeing the country. They are searching for better paths alongside other already formed, experienced, and distinguished professionals.

We have a situation of extreme insecurity by which we are seen internationally as a highly dangerous country, one which you should be afraid to visit. We have one of the largest inflation rates in the world and due to the scarcity of medical supplies, the health and hospital situation is very serious. As a pharmacist and owner of a pharmacy, I daily see how there are no basic medications and we can't assure the patients when they will be back in stock. This whole situation has been a challenge for me. I've had to develop areas within pharmaceutics that are new to me, such as the following—

Soap scarcity: we formulate it from a glycerin base and add other natural extracts.

Shampoo, creams, deodorant, tooth paste, and body oils are all other products that we are currently formulating trying to use natural products and extracts, without additives or chemicals, and importing raw materials from other countries with our own resources.

The same is true for medical products: we try to formulate everything we can in the midst of scarcity. Our mainstay during the last thirty years has been homeopathic medicine, flower essence therapy and natural remedies. It's amazing to see how in the last months people have turned to find relief of their illnesses in homeopathy, natural medicine and flower essences. We prepare daily 30 to 40 recipes from different therapists in these areas, as well as provide customer service in which we give advice about these therapies.

We have been able to see with the population in general the acceptance of—increasingly now even more—mainly the emotional aspects of healing dealing with such cases as depression, anguish, sadness, lack of hope, stress, fear and anxiety. The most used flower essences are Bach, FES, followed by Venezuelans, Mediterranean and Australian essences, among others. I believe this is based on the practice of each therapist and their experience, with Bach and FES being the first two most commonly known lines of essences in our country. They have also shown the best results according to our own observations. In the midst of everything with which we are living, I think this has been and is a journey of learning for us. I believe better times lie ahead, where we'll have learned to value and revive what really matters most: taking care of and properly using our natural resources and reestablishing peace, tolerance, respect and trust in the most important resource Venezuela has: the human resource.

— Amaya de Centano