Image 1 of 1
Katherine Navas, a high school student  (behind counter in shop on right), tends to a customer behind the counter of her stepfather's Internet and copy shop in Caracus, Venezuela. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.)  Bars on all the windows, doors, and balconies signal that security is a major concern in this neighborhood. Caracas was the murder capital of the world in 2008; 50 murders in one weekend is not unheard of. Local gangs are viciously territorial and ruthless in their victimization of the hardworking, law-abiding majority. Noemi Hurtado, an 83-year-old who has lived a stone's throw from Katherine's house for the past 51 years, has never once crossed into the barrio of La Silsa. "It's too dangerous," she says. "I would never go there." When Noemi moved to western Caracas, the La Silsa barrio didn't yet exist; the hills surrounding the valley were forested and, she remembers, there were waterfalls.