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A Little German Tradition in Venezuela

By Linda Tancs

Mountainous glory, half-timbered dwellings and quaint, narrow streets.  This description could apply to any of the towns and villages of Germany’s Black Forest region.  Or try Colonia Tovar, a cozy German settlement in the hills about 40 km or so from Caracas.   Settled in 1843 by about 300 Germans, the hamlet retains many of its cultural charms and traditions notwithstanding indoctrination of Spanish language and customs.  In fact, the first Venezuelan beer was brewed in this settlement.  This European enclave may be one of Latin America’s best kept secrets.  Quiet on weekdays, things perk up a bit on weekends when the caraqueños (denizens of Caracas) show up for a little R&R.  Then the narrow, winding streets are thick with jeeps offering tours.  Ah, the price of commercialism.

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