The featured article tells the story of the village of Guaca, in Venezuela. To situate yourself in this place, look closely at one of the images from the featured article, such as the photo below.
As you look at the image you selected, respond to these questions from our What’s Going On In This Picture? feature:
What more can you find?
Questions for Writing and Discussion
Read the article, then answer the following questions:
1. What are some of the ways that Guaca’s industries have suffered in recent years?
2. How have different villagers in Guaca reacted to finding the washed-up treasures?
3. What are some of the theories about how the gold ended up along the beach? Which theory do you think is the most likely explanation? Why?
4. What did the chemical test commissioned by The New York Times reveal about one particular gold chain? How do the observations made by Dr. Guy Demortier, a jewelry-authentication specialist, and Chris Corti, a technical expert in jewelry-making, support the findings from the chemical test?
5. How has Yolman Lares, a fisherman, spent his gold findings? What about other villagers? What do their choices in spending the gold reveal about the economic situation in Venezuela?
6. Using evidence from the article, explain why José Campos, a sardine fisherman, might have said, “The government doesn’t care about us at all.”
Option I: Telling a Times Story
The featured article used photographs to tell the story along with text. Tell the story with your own images and words either using a storyboard or by creating a free-form artistic interpretation of the story. For example, you might draw one key image or scene in the center of your page and then draw five accompanying scenes, people or objects surrounding the central image.
You can experiment with adding text or a quotation from the featured article to bring the story to life. You can also consider the audience of your story: Do you want to educate Americans about Guaca, or do you want to tell a compelling story for younger children?
Option II: Understanding Venezuela
The New York Times has covered a range of stories about Venezuela and Venezuelans. Choose one additional article to read and see how it enhances or changes your understanding of the featured article. Here are some recent Times articles you could choose from:
As you read, take notes using a 5 W’s and an H organizer. Write down the who, what, when, where, why and how of your article. Then, share one key takeaway with a classmate who read a different article.
Finally, have a class discussion in which you connect the second article you read to the featured article.
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