only a third of the story is completed, watch this space! Writer's Easyvoyage profile
Venezuela is a young, cosmopolitan country: 70% of the population is under 30, and it is Latin America's most mixed-race country. A large number of immigrants from Europe, the Antilles, the Equatorial region, Peru and Columbia came to Venezuela during the petrol boom. It is a society of contrasts, mixing insolent riches and extreme poverty, a very americanised lifestyle (baseball is the national sport) and traditions inherited from the Spanish conquistadors (corridas). Predominantly Catholic, the Venezuelan people are not in reality full-time pracitsing Christians, and devotions for Saints are often confused with similar acts of faith from Hatian voodoo and Brazilian santeria. Amongst the Indian groups are the Caribbeans, the Arawaks, the Chibchas and the Tupis-Guarnis. Their culture was profoundly changed by the work of missionaries, as their lands were coveted by those looking for gold, forestry companies, miners and oil companies and drug traffickers. The most famous are without doubt the Yanomamis, a semi-nomadic people who live on horseback on the Brazilian border. The Great Plains of Venezuela are the domain of the llaneros, cowboy guardians of the flock who love to use their lasso. Rodeos are an excuse for huge barbecues (asados) where the riders, wearing white linen suits, stetsons and boots, dance the joropo to the sound of the harp and the harmonica. In the land of the Miss (Venezuela has a neverending love of Miss World and Miss Universe), the cult of Beauty and appearance hold a primary role. Venezuelans are amongst the world's biggest consumers of makeup, beauty and deodorant products. Plastic surgery does wonders. All women swear by their eyeliners and shiny, brightly coloured lipsticks. They never hesitate to dye their hair blonde and go to the gym religiously. Men, who are just as fashionable, make a lot of effort and expense in preening before going for dinner in town. They take great care in filing their nails, even varnishing them sometimes, spray a ridiculous amount of aftershave onto themselves and spend time doing and redoing their hair in front of the mirror, whilst maintaining their macho image! Generally speaking, Venezuelans like having fun, particularly around Carnival time, dancing to the sound of drums and the conga and drinking streams of rum.
Texts by Frederick Loew, photographs by Gilles Santantonio. A female pilot, the only one to the south of the Orinocco, will guide you to the Llanos plains, or Mount Tepy Kukenan, rising 8858 ft above the jungle. In aeriel view, discover the variety of territories present in Venezuela.
Media 9, coll. DVD Guides " Vietnam, du Tonkin à la Cochinchine ", by Pierre Brouwers. 2003 Edition. This 52 minute film shows the country from tourism, geographic, cultural, historic and economic angles. The DVD also exists as part of the Prestge collection.
Worth seeing: "telenovelas" on Venezuelan TV - soap operas also known as "farandulas". The annual election, in April, of Miss Venezuela is also worth watching.
Music "Bandolas du Venezuela" (Dorian).
"El Condor Pasa" (Macady).
"Folk music from Venezuela" (Arc Music).
Listen to Radio Latina (99FM).