venezuelaThe top of South America. The small Venice. Venezuela is known for its Amazon rainforest and its feminine beauty. The water of the Caribbean bathes it and the Andes protect it. High on the Llanos plains, there is always blue sky and the Sun never lets Venezuelans down. This country has a perfume of rain and orchids. It has a regal bridge that spans across a splendid lake. It has a desert, los Medanos. You can see the capybara, the largest rodent in the world, and the dangerous anaconda. You can find Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, and Roraima, the first rock that formed our planet. Not to forget Orinoco, its beautiful river.

Venezuela is the land of immigrants: beautiful and strong mixed race peoples (natives, mulattos, blacks and whites). It is the home of Simon Bolivar, the America’s Liberator. It was the first South American country to get its independence from the Spanish Empire. It is the nation that has given birth to professionals baseball players who make it in the Big Leagues. You can find corals and black gold: the oil. Dreams and hopes don’t have limits. Kindness and humbleness are learnt when you are very young. The best sunsets are always present. Its national tree is the beautiful yellow Araguaney and its national bird is the colourful and friendly toucan.

venezuela-2Venezuela has the biggest and tastiest avocados; the chicha (a rice and milk drink) and papelon (sugarloaf) juice sweeten life to everybody. There you can drink fresh passion fruit, papaya and tamarind juices; Cacique and Santa Teresa Rum too. Its domestic beer is Polar. The creole (national) dish is pabellon (a traditional black beans and white rice dish, with a tender, savory flank steak). Their arepas (the corn bread) have been nominated as the best breakfast in the world. To celebrate Christmas, Venezuelans make their traditional ham bread and hallacas (a dish of beef, pork, or chicken mixed with raisins, capers and olives, and wrapped in cornmeal dough, all folded within plantain leaves). In the Venezuelan cuisine you can also find the yummy tequeños (cheese fingers), beef tenderloin and roasted chicken, golfeados (Venezuelan sweet rolls), cachapas (corn pancakes) and a wide range of unpasteurized salty white cheese (blanco, telita y Guayanes).

Venezuelan musical instruments are the harp, the cuatro (a small four nylon string guitar) and maracas. It is a musical country where everybody dances. Tambores (rhythmic dancing with drumming), Joropo (the national dance), Gaitas (a type of Venezuelan folk music). The Venezuelan Symphonic Orquestra is very proud of being one of the best. Venezuelans also dance Merengue, Salsa and Reggaeton. They have a variety of regional dances, such as Carite, Sebucan and Diablos Danzantes. There are more traditional dances of El Pajaro Guarandol, La Burriquita and Tamunangue and the vibrant Venezuelan folk rhythms, el Golpe Tocuyano and Calypso de El Callao. All these dances make the heart beat faster.

In Venezuela ‘party’ is the meaning of life. You can find celebration everywhere. But family, friends and work are always first. Venezuela is home to God. It is tricolour: yellow represents wealth, blue the Caribbean Sea and red the blood for the heroes who fought for Independence.

Dear Venezuela, we want to tell you from Canada, we always have you in our hearts. We ask you for your blessing. Looking at the horizon we always remember you and miss you. From far away we can feel you. Sentir means to feel and, far away, we know what means to feel Venezuela, Sentir Venezuela.

Photos courtesy of Eusebio Montilla @evmontilla