“Home” – by Vero Aguiar

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“Describe a place you call home”

I can’t describe it, but nestled between towering mountains, lies a war-torn, dangerous, and poverty-stricken city. It has the highest crime rate in the world, and it’s common to see kids begging for food. Yet, it is the place I call home. I feel relaxed every time I pass by its busy streets, some of my happiest memories lived under El Avila. Every time we pass over the city, by plane, it always fills me with joy. I find myself feeling a deep heartbreak whenever we leave. I think it’s partly because of the people. Even though the country is destroyed, empty, and dangerous, its people remain happy. People who, having the option to escape and begin a new life, repeatedly choose to stay. People are willing to drive late at night, where streets resemble war zones, yet they remain happy and content, filled with pride for their country. These people have a deep love for Venezuela. Consumed by its magical energy, by its natural beauty, disorder, and joy. A place like no other, a nation with snowy mountains, deserts, and beaches. People who give without thinking twice, united through a love for our nation.

This is the place I call home. A place that I play a game of hide-and-seek, with its towering mountain through my moving car, hoping to always find it, as a comfort and northern star. My beautiful, dangerous, lively, imperfect Caracas. My home.

Caracas, Venezuela.