Afro-Venezuelans - Settlements



Afro-Venezuelan settlements comprise rural and semirural sites located in or near former plantations, mines, colonial towns, and cumbe settlements. Towns are constructed along the colonial model, with residential streets radiating out from a central plaza. Houses are constructed from mud and thatch, or are of concrete with tin roofs. The kitchen is the central hub, with bedrooms and possibly a courtyard built adjoining it. In rural areas, the poorest dwellings are typically one- or two-room mud-and-thatch huts with no running water or electricity. Beneficiaries of agrarian land-reform projects in the 1960s live in settlements constructed with government funds. Built of cinderblocks, houses may have up to three bedrooms, kitchen/living room, bathroom, and plumbing and electricity. Migrants to larger urban centers usually live in poor, working-class barrios, dwelling in overcrowded apartment blocks or obliged to construct shanties from cardboard, cinderblocks, and corrugated tin. Migrants tend to live in the same areas, thus establishing a "regional" character for certain barrios—for example, the majority of migrants from Curiepe have settled in the San José barrio of Caracas.


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