- A mysterious gold-rush for villagers in Venezuela has changed their lives in a country suffering fr a chronic economic crisis and the effects of COVID-19.
- A gold medallion and an image of the Virgin Mary were first discovered by a fisherman on a beach in Guaca in September.
- Since then many of the poor local people have found their own treasure, mostly gold rings.
- Ciro Quijada, a local fish plant worker who found a gold ring on the beach told The New York Times: “This is God, setting his agenda.”
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A mysterious gold-rush for villagers in Venezuela has changed their lives in a country suffering fr a chronic economic crisis and the effects of COVID-19.
Yohan Lares, 25, first found a gold medallion and an image of the Virgin Mary on a beach in Guaca in September after seeing something shine in the sand, according to The New York Times.
The fisherman told The New York Times: “I began to shake, I cried of joy. It was the first time something special has happened to me.”
After telling his father-in-law about his discovery, the word soon spread among the 2,000 villagers. Since then, many have found their own treasure, mostly gold rings, the New York Post reported.
Some of the treasure pieces have been sold for $1500 and used to buy food, scarce due to Venezuela’s economic collapse.
Guaca and the surrounding villages on the remote Paria peninsula used to supply Latin America with sardines and canned tuna, but now only eight of 30 sardine warehouses are in operation, and the government-run tuna canning factories have gone bust, The New York Times reported.
Where the gold has come from is a mystery. Some are drawing on folklore and legends of sunken pirate ships. Others think it has been planted by the government, according to the New York Post. Test on the trove suggest the jewelry is of European origin and made in recent decades.
Since the treasure appeared, sardines have returned to the village’s shores after a four-month absence while the gasoline supply has improved following major shortages, The New York Times added.
Ciro Quijada, a local fish plant worker who found a gold ring on the beach, said: “This is God, setting his agenda.”
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