• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Culture & Identity of Venezuela

WARNING: Violence is common in Venezeula, please read this travel warning before going!


Venezuela has much more to offer than just socialist-leaning politics, oil, and multiple legitimate candidates to be crowned Miss Universe. Venezuela has a culture that always seems to have a hand on the pulse of the Caribbean and the other hand on Latin America, combining the two in a way that creates the country today. Venezuela is a mixture of these various backgrounds and has recently become a voice for the poor and under-represented. Unlike so many countries where the majority, the wealthy, or the well-connected dominate... well in Venezuela these groups still dominate, but they are small and do so by gaining the favor of the poor. By doing this the poor are gaining more power, but a particular aspect of the culture is beginning to stand out: the people are giving of their money to fund social programs they believe in as the people are generally quite selflessness and giving. The people believe in helping each other and bettering the society around them so are willing to give high taxes as many people prefer to have a large number of social programs for their own benefit and for the benefit of society as a whole.

The changes in the politics of the country are also affecting the urban-rural landscape as there is massive migration to the cities of Venezuela, especially among the poor as they seek out job opportunities and modern amenities. Due to a somewhat stagnant economy this move is doing little in the way of helping these individuals, but it is compressing the people into a smaller space and creating a more uniform culture, especially as high taxes redistributes money, making financial differences less noticeable.

For many Venezuelans, no matter their occupation or lack thereof, the day begins at about 8:00 or 9:00 am with school or work. Cars seem to be a luxury few people can afford so most people walk, bike, or take public transportation. Many people still take a long lunch in the early afternoon, but this varies significantly in Venezuela. Schools let out early and nearly every child goes to school as this is very important to the Venezuelans, although they lack many higher education opportunities.

Evenings and weekends are often spent with family. Entertainment options outside the home are essentially limited to those who can afford them, but the bars, dance clubs, and arts scene in the large cities is very active with influences from all over, but most commonly the Caribbean and Latin America. Going out with friends instead of family is becoming more popular in Venezuela, but family still dominates the culture and social life.


Nearly everyone in Venezuela first identifies as being Venezuelan, but what exactly that means is a bit confusing and difficult to understand. In the past the people of Venezuela generally identified in numerous ways, including with socio-economic class, ethnicity, and politics. However over time the country has become more homogenous economically due to political changes, which has in some ways evened the playing field and in others created internal tensions between "groups." For political reasons though, most people first identify as being Venezuelan today; even those who didn't identify this way in the past struggle to return to any other identity as those former identities associated with socio-economic class have been discouraged and unifying as one nation are encouraged.

In recent decades Venezuela and its identity have been defined in contradiction to the United States and other capitalist countries. This has made the Venezuelan identity primarily one of what it is not. However, at the same time the identity has become one in which the people (and government) are heroes of the poor, the minorities, and the under-represented. In this way the wealthy and those who identify in any other way have been somewhat disgraced, forcing people to abandon these identities (at least publically) and join the masses to avoid persecution.

In a way being "Venezuelan" has become more politically defined, but today this is not only defined as being a citizen of the country, but having a certain set of political beliefs, or perhaps more accurately a particular set of ideologies. In a way, to be "Venezuelan" is to be a socialist in ideology (not necessarily politics), meaning the people believe it is their mission to help those who need help. Many people interpret this as being best done in supporting the poor and speaking out against the rich, which is what the government also preaches and encourages.

In addition to this ideological and/or political definition, the term "Venezuelan" is fairly inclusive as the identity is at least partially based on citizenship, language (Spanish), and religion (Catholicism).

This page was last updated: November, 2013