Where We Work
The Turimiquire Foundation works through its sister organization Fundación ServYr, based in the city of Cumaná, capital of the State of Sucre, located on Venezuela’s northeastern Caribbean coast. Cumaná is said to be the site of one of the earliest continental landings by Christopher Columbus, and to be the oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement on mainland South America.
We take our name from the local Turimiquire mountain range, which peaks at over 8,000 feet, forming the backbone of the State of Sucre. Turimiquire, pronounced Too-ree-mee-kée-ray, means the “Seat of the Gods” in the indigenous Carib language (now extinct), and refers to the majestic saddles formed by the steep peaks and valleys in these mountains.
Located on the eastern coastline of Venezuela, the state of Sucre is noted for its Caribbean climate and culture.
Venezuela is a country that has struggled with rapid population growth, explosive urban migration, and serious economic inequities. It is currently in the midst of a protracted, highly polarized socio-political crisis, resulting in pervasive institutional and economic instability. In the last several years in particular, there has been increasing scarcity of basic consumer items, including food and medicines, with very high rates of inflation and crime, making the country a very challenging place to live in, especially for its extensive low-income populations.
The State of Sucre is a rural region of great physical beauty with a wonderful Caribbean climate, but with chronically unmet human need, particularly in the areas of health and education. Sucre’s undeveloped and largely rural nature makes it similar to the Appalachian region of the United States. Many families live far from roads and electricity, schools and hospitals. Lack of access to these public services undermines their efforts to improve their lives and develop sustainable livelihoods, leading to widespread migration to the cities, whose infrastructures simply cannot handle this snowballing growth.
There has been little reliable government information since 2002, but the ongoing economic crisis has been widely documented in the international press. In 2014 the humanitarian crisis began to accelerate, bringing notable deterioration on every level throughout the country, with hyperinflation and chronic widespread scarcities of basic consumer goods, including food and medicine, gasoline, cooking gas, water and electricity. Unrelenting political tension, both national and international, including the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, have only aggravated the crisis in 2020.