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Kitemanera wouldn’t be what it is – in fact, would not even exist – without the rich cultural heritage and legacy born from our mother country – Venezuela. In all that we do, we seek to honor, cherish and respect the centuries of history that define what it means to be Venezuelan. We are grateful to hail from a country so rich with natural beauty and amazing people. We are proud to be Venezuelanos.

So it is with mixed feelings that we are gearing up to host the party of the year while our loved ones and fellow countrymen back in our homeland are facing a crisis of international proportion. Each day we hear personal stories of the suffering that family and friends face under the iron fist of Maduro. Shortages of the basics of everyday life – food, medicine, supplies. A 700% rate of inflation. Daily violence and the highest murder rate in the world. While the government turns a blind eye. They go skydiving. They feast. They line their pockets while ignoring the cries of the Venezuelan people.

And while all this tragedy takes place less than 100 miles away, with only a small sliver of the shimmering Caribbean Sea separating us, we do not face these same hardships. We do what we can to help, but it is never enough. So we brainstormed to think of a way we could use Kitemanera 2017 as a platform to call attention to the plight of the Venezuelan people. And we came up with an idea.

Use the power of social media to help spread the word about the suffering taking place in our beloved homeland. This year at Kitemanera, we are giving away special Peace wristbands to everyone who attends. We hope you will wear it with pride. And then Instagram and Facebook the hell out of it with the hashtag #vzlacontraladictadura. (Venezuela against dictatorship.)

We want you to help us make this idea go viral. We want you to fill social media with hashtagged photos of you (lots and lots of photos) wearing this special bracelet. Our goal is to help spread the word about the dire situation happening right now. To help ignite the support of the international community. Because we need everyone’s help to end the plight of the people in our home country.

Get your bracelet the weekend of Kitemanera. Then light up social media. We appreciate it. The people of Venezuela appreciate it. And it is one small thing we can all do to help right the wrongs of Nicolas Maduro and his regime. And, in the meantime, if you aren’t up to speed on what is happening right now in our beloved country, here are a few links that explain the situation back home.

Life is Hell in Venezuela – Jorge Ramos
Venezuela: What is Happening Today – Al Jazeera TV

Muchas gracias, much love and see you on the beach.

Ossie, Rommel, Silio & Reinaldo