Learn a little about Venezuela, this fascinating South American country, and enjoy our worksheets and flag printables with the kids.
Angel Falls, Venezuela, is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world!
A Little Geography...
- Venezuela is in the north of South America, between Colombia and Guyan,a with Brazil to the south. It has the longest coastline in the Caribbean, at 2500 km.
- Venezuela means 'little Venice'. The name came from the houses on stilts which the first explorers found on Lake Maracaibo, the largest lake on the continent.
- The country's official name is 'The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela' after Simon Bolivar, the statesman responsible for independence, who was born in Caracas in 1783. He is known as the liberator of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Panama.
- Venezuela is a land of immigrants. Many claim ancestry from Italy, Spain and Colombia. Over 50% of the 30 million people are European-Indian and Afro-Mestizo, 45% are European and 3% Afro-Caribbean. Indigenous indians, who live mainly in the Amazonas region, make up a few percent.
- Most Venezuelans live in cities near the northern coast. It is the most urbanised country in South America.
- A major oil exporter, Venezuela claims the world's largest oil reserves. The oil is heavy and needs intense refining, yet accounted for 96% of the country’s exports in 2012.
Caracas, capital city of Venezuela
- Caracas, the capital of 4 million, has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
- Caracas has the most skyscrapers in of any South American city, including the abandoned 45 storey Tower of David, which has no elevators and is the world's tallest slum.
- The bario Petare on the Caracas hillside is the second largest shanty town in South America. It is home to over 1 million people.
A Little History...
- Christopher Columbus first set foot on the South American mainland in 1498, at Paria Peninsula. He is said to have called it a paradise.
- Hugo Chavez was President of Venezuela from 1999- 2013. He was a left wing leader inspired by Simon Bolivar and Che Guevara, who opposed poverty but did not like Western capitalism.
And Some Interesting Facts!
- El Avila Park, between Caracas and the coast, is home to pumas, jaguars and howler monkeys.
- Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the world at 979 m, 19 times as high as Niagara Falls! It was named after Jimmie Angel, who crashed his plane here in 1937. The waterfall in the Disney film ‘Up’ was inspired by Angel Falls. You can see a photo of the waterfall at the top of this page.
- Merida is home to the world’s longest and highest cable car, climbing to Pico Espejo at 4785 metres. It is due to reopen in June 2014.
- Do you like ice-cream? Heladaria Coromoto, in Merida, sells 900 flavours - a world record! You might like to try "smoked trout ice-cream" or "sardines and brandy ice-cream" - or perhaps it might be safer to stick with vanilla!
- Venezuela is one of the world’s ten most biodiverse nations, with habitats from Andean mountains, Amazon cloudforest, llanos plains, high plateau tepuis, Orinoco Delta and Caribbean coastline.
Venezuela on a map of Africa. You can print this map here.
- 'The Lost World' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was based on the ‘epuis' - high flat mountains in Venezuela and Guyana - which teem which unique plants and wildlife.
- Venezuelans take beauty seriously, spending 20% of their income on cosmetics! Perhaps that’s why Venezuelan women have won the Miss World competition several times.
- Baseball is the country’s national sport. Many Venezuelans play in the MLB in America, including superstar Miguel Cabrera.
- Arepos, fried or baked cornmeal cakes, which can be stuffed with ham and cheese, are very popular Venezuelan food.
- High schools are so busy that some children attend in the morning until 1pm, then another group attend until 6 pm in the afternoon.