Here Are The Most Amazing Facts About Venezuela
The country of Venezuela is located in South America, nestled between Colombia, Guyana, and Brazil. Venezuela was gifted its name from explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who labeled the land mass Veneziola, which translates to "little Venice."
Venezuela was first colonized by the Spaniards in 1522 and is currently the 33rd largest country in the world.
For a Latin American country, Venezuela is highly urbanized, with a population of nearly 30 million people. Most of the population live in the capital city of Caracas and are Roman Catholic. The national language spoken in Venezuela is Spanish.
Regarding Venezuela facts about the national flag, the three colors used do carry much significance. Yellow is for the natural land resources and wealth. Blue represents the sea, and red is used to honor the bloodshed of fallen heroes for the country.
Politics And The People
Venezuela is a fascinating country and a popular tourist destination. Former leader Hugo Chavez is a familiar public figure who often comes to mind when many people think of Venezuela. President Chavez was known for using the country's wealth derived from oil money to push social programs forward.
Presidents are elected by popular vote in the country and hold a term of office for six years. In fact, Hugo Chavez was elected twice in two different landslide elections. After the passing and widespread public mourning for the people's leader, Hugo Chavez in 2013, the country is currently under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela currently operates under a democracy, but before democracy was established, the country experienced revolutions, dictatorships, and military juntas.
The United States has many deep political ties to Venezuela, primarily because of the country's abundant natural resources. To control the rate of inflation, the US has anchored Venezuela's currency, the Bolivar Fuerte.
When it comes to Venezuela facts to keep in mind, when exchanging your currency for the local Bolivar Fuerte, it cannot be converted back to Euros or other acceptable forms.
Big Readers In Latin America
When remembering unique Venezuela facts, you should appreciate that the literacy rate is very high, with a record 96% of the population being literate. Education and communication are essential to Venezuelan people. And when people are not busy reading and writing, they enjoy watching and playing baseball for their amusement.
A Country Known For Its Beauty
Aside from a dense urban capital city, Venezuela is known for its amazing and beautiful natural landmarks.
Gorgeous Natural Landmarks
The Canaima National Park is one of the largest national parks in the world, and it is found only within Venezuela.
Another Venezuela fact to know, is that Angel Falls, the world's largest waterfall measuring over 3,000 feet in height is also located within the country.
Venezuela is home to the largest lake in South America, and one of the oldest lakes in existence on the planet. Lake Maracaibo dates back to 20 to 40 million years.
Home Of Beauty Queens
Venezuela is not only recognized worldwide for its awe-inspiring natural landmarks. The women of Venezuela are known for their physical beauty, and women from Venezuela have taken home the title of Miss Universe 6 times.
During the festival of Feria de la Chinita in Maracaibo, the feast day of the Virgin of Chiquinquira takes place over a 10-day period. During this time one woman is designated as the leader of the celebrations while adorned in a beautiful costume. A beauty contest takes place, and many contestants vie for a position.
A Land Rich In Natural Resources
Venezuela has only two seasons, either it is hot and wet, or hot and dry.
Natural resources are a symbol of pride and prosperity for this Latin American country, as Venezuela is rich in oil reserves, iron ore, gold, coal, and bauxite. Many countries, including the US, value their ties to the country of Venezuela because it is home to one of the largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves in the world.
Venezuela is a major exporter of petroleum, and 80% of this resource goes out of the country to other nations. Due to how political leaders have influenced the pricing structure for oil and petroleum, it has created a shortage of certain essential goods within the country, like milk.
A Powerhouse For Energy And Engineering
The country of Venezuela is dependent on mostly hydroelectric energy, which is created predominantly by the Guri Dam. The Guri Dam is one of the largest in the world and is located upstream the Caroni River in Orinoco.
The power plant was built with a capacity of 10,200MW and provides about 12,9000GW/h of energy to the country and its population.
A Vibrant Land Filled With Diversity
Exploring Venezuela, you will find a very diverse population of people, plants, and animals. The diversity of plant and animal species is significant because there is a small amount of the Amazon rainforest located in the country, although most of the rainforest is in Brazil.
Venezuela boasts over 25,000 different species of orchids and 1,4000 species of birds. The country's national flower is the flor de mayo.
Venezuela has 43 national parks and makes sure that up to 33% of its forested land is under protection for preservation.
Food And Dishes Not To Miss
Buying food and snacks off of street vendors is a daily activity in Venezuela, and there are many tasty dishes to enjoy while on the go.
The country's national dish is pabellon criollo, which is comprised of rice, shredded and stewed beef, and black beans. Many rice and bean dishes are staples within the Caribbean region of the world, and Venezuela is known for its signature version served up with a side of fried plantains.
In addition to the national dish, enjoying some arepas, cachapas, or cachitos is common. Arepas are typically eaten as a late night snack and are available stuffed with cheese, meat, or beans.
Cachapas are a beloved traditional dish which is made from corn. Either the cachapa is served up like a pancake, or it is wrapped in corn leaves and boiled. They are usually eaten with soft handmade cheese and sometimes served with a side of fried pork. Cachapas are enjoyed as a snack or as a full on breakfast.
Cachitos are similar to croissants and are usually eaten in the morning for breakfast. The outside of the cachito is crispy, and the inside is soft, fluffy, and filled with cheese and ham.
A mandoca is a donut-like food made from cornmeal and plantains. The mandoca is deep fried and served with butter or cheese while still piping hot. The mandoca is a unique food to the Zulia region, which is a western state in the country of Venezuela.
After picking up a few treats to eat, there is nothing like enjoying a sweet, refreshing, and exotic cocada. The cocada is created with a blend of coconut pulp, sweet condensed milk, and a touch of cinnamon for extra punch. It is creamy, rich, and very delicious.
Festivals And Festivities
Celebrating days of importance with much merrymaking, food, and music is a vital part of life in Venezuela. There are a few major holidays and celebrations that make Venezuela unique.
The Dia de Los Inocentes or ‘Innocents Day' commemorates when King Herod decreed that infanticide take place in his land to purge it of Jesus. Instead of being a day of mourning, the day is celebrated similarly to April Fool's day. People play pranks on one another, news stations report fake news, and everything focuses on making light of life and joking around.
The Festival of San Pedro y San Pablo involves brightly lit bonfires throughout the streets to honor Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Women who wish to bear children jump over the flames for blessings, people dress in indigenous costumes, and there is dancing throughout the streets. And of course, there is plenty of street food to go around, such as tasty empanadas and yuca.
Sometime before Easter, during the Carupano Carnaval, visitors the world over flock to see people dancing, beautiful floats, enjoy street parties, and vibrant music for four whole days.
If there is any question about men donning frightening looking blood-red devil masks, it just means that the festival of Los Diablos Danzantes has arrived. The masked men go about dancing to interesting music while donning rosary beads on the ninth Thursday following Holy Thursday.
A Location That Must Be Visited
The country of Venezuela is a popular tourist destination because of the country's natural landmarks, food, festivals, and it's travel-friendly qualities. The number of immigrants from varying countries who currently reside in the country has given Venezuela a strong European influence on its architecture and culture.
Venezuela stands out for the following qualities:
Rich natural resources such as oil, gold, and other minerals
A vibrant melting pot culture filled with art, music, food, and religious celebrations and festivals
Street food rules here and is filling, inexpensive, and tasty
Venezuela has developed in part to influences from indigenous peoples, Europeans from Spain and other countries, and Africans. The unique, flavorful foods, cultural celebrations, music, and dances reflect the vibrancy and melting pot population within this Latin American country.
As a land with beautiful architectural gems, scenic landscapes, and colorful celebrations, there is much to be explored and enjoyed in Venezuela.