Day 11: The wetness, and the mess. Dec. 29 2017.
I think this has to do with oil. The oil and petrochemical sector make up 80% of exports, but employ only a small fraction of the population. Much of the revenue goes direct to the government, which builds glitzy tower blocks for itself and neglects the roads. The government creates make-work employment for a substantial fraction of the population. A rational society would use all this oil money to build up tourist infrastructure, but they're not apparently doing that. Why? Well, I speculate the problem with tourism income is it's distributed widely over hotels and restaurants and other small businesses and service employees, and it's therefore harder for government corruptocrats to take their cut; whereas an oil company can simply grease the right palms with hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their drilling rights.
Anyway, enough of this grouching. Just after dawn, before breakfast, we went out to get better pictures of the caciques, up a gravel road near the river.