Tuesday, February 16, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 7

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...


Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America. Caracas is its capital and largest city. Its land bordering countries are Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana. 

Venezuela spans a total of 340,560 square miles, which is twice the size of California.

The multicultural and geographically diverse South American country of Venezuela shares its northern shoreline with the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, drawing vacationers with its beauty annually.

Venezuela is blessed with magnificent, diverse geography. It has Caribbean islands, rivers, marshlands, mountains, glaciers, highlands, grasslands, deserts, canyons, mesas, forests, and jungles.

The country’s habitats range from the Andes Mountains (west) to the Amazon Basin rainforest (south) to the Caribbean coast (north) via the extensive llanos plains (central) to the Orinoco River Delta (east).

The majority of the population resides in the northern part of the country, particularly in and around Caracas.

Venezuela only has two weather seasons, the hot and dry season and the hot and wet season.

Spanish is the official language of Venezuela. There are many regional dialects spoken throughout the country.

The petroleum sector is the dominating force in Venezuela’s economy. It accounts for approximately 80% of their exports. In Venezuela, the citizens enjoy the cheapest petrol in the world due to major government subsidizing of the oil industry.

Oil is less expensive than water in Venezuela.

Even though this is one of the top-producing oil countries in the world, about 30% of Venezuelans live in poverty.

Other exports of Venezuela include steel, cement, aluminum and agriculture products.

Their major imports include electronics, chemicals and food products.

Venezuela has 43 national parks and up to 33 percent of its forested land is protected.

Canaima National Park is the world’s sixth largest national park. There are many rock mesa plateaus called tepuis in the park of geological interest. Its cliffs, waterfalls and lagoon are spectacular vistas.

Canaima National Park is the home of Angel Falls, the world’s tallest continuous fall (over 3,000 feet tall) which is only accessible by canoe, airplane, or helicopter. It is sixteen times the height of Niagara Falls. 

Part of the Amazon rainforest is located in Venezuela, although the majority is situated in Brazil.

Lake Maracaibo is the largest lake in South America. It is also one of the oldest in the world, dating back 20 to 40 million years.

Catatumbo lightning is a meteorological phenomena that only occurs at the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it joins Lake Maracabio. For up to 160 days a year, lightning strikes the lake repeatedly for up to ten hours at a time in the evening. This atmospheric phenomenon produces thousands of lightning strikes per hour.

Venezuela is one of the top 20 countries in the world whose animals and plants are endemic (unique) to the country.

Fifty percent of the amphibians and 23 percent of the reptiles are unique to Venezuela. Thirty-eight percent of the plant species and 48 percent of the birds are.

Over 25,000 species of orchids can be found in Venezuela.

There are over 1,400 bird species found in Venezuela.

Over 3,900 species of fungi have been discovered and recorded from Venezuela.

Venezuela is home to the most endangered crocodile in the world, the Orinoco crocodile.

Schoolchildren in Venezuela can choose between attending classes in the morning or the afternoon throughout their entire school career. Older children can even choose to take night classes if they wish.

Women from Venezuela have won Miss Universe six times and Miss World five times.

On the Venezuelan flag, yellow represents land wealth, blue represents the sea, and red represents the blood shed by heroes.

It's tradition on Christmas to roller skate to church with your family. Venezuelans attend church, then eat a feast with their families to celebrate the holiday.

Many Venezuelan homes have Christmas trees on during the holiday season. They also set up grand nativity scenes in their front yards or in their homes to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

A type of small guitar named the cuatro (for its four strings) is the national instrument.

The Joropo (a waltz like dance) is the national dance of the country, and is performed during national holidays and festivals.

Venezuelan music is a mixture of Spanish and African music. It is full of percussion instruments and is often accompanied on the streets with dancing. Street performers can be found very easily playing in the cities.

Baseball is the most popular sport to play and watch in the country. Many Venezuelan players have even moved to the United States to play in the U.S. Major Leagues.

The sport of baseball was played in Venezuela as early as the late 19th century. North American immigrants who came to work in the 1930’s oil industry helped popularize it in the 20th century.

Most Venezuelans do not own hot water heaters, and take cold showers each night. Bath tubs are also not very common.

According to a Gallup survey, only 22% of Venezuelans say they feel safe in their country.

With a murder every 21 minutes, Venezuela is the second most violent country in the world where a war is not taking place. 

Venezuela’s murder rate is the highest in the world. Robbers are quick to murder their victims.

Sometimes, Venezuelan police have to hire security for themselves as many police officers have been killed while doing their duty.

In Eastern Venezuela, the Warao Indians live in thatched roof huts along the river. Their people have lived this way for over 100 years.

Venezuelans eat their largest meal between noon and three in the afternoon. Many go home to eat lunch with their families. At night they eat a light supper at eight o’clock or later.

‘Hallacas’ are the country’s version of the tamale. They include meat, olives and raisins covered in cornmeal then wrapped in plantain leaves and steamed.

Coke Zero was banned in Venezuela in 2009.

In 2016, McDonald's was forced to stop selling Big Macs in Venezuela due to the country's economic downturn. The fast food giant was unable to find bread for the buns.

Venezuela was the first country to do away with the death penalty. This was abolished in 1863.

At one time the Venezuelan president ordered the women in the country to abstain from using hair dryers because of the shortage of electricity in the country, with the country on the verge of a total power outage.

In Venezuela, mothers have to carry their children’s birth certificate for buying diapers and other baby products.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Venezuela... With the longest stretch of Caribbean coastline of any country, Venezuela is a popular place to enjoy a relaxing day on the fine white sand overlooking clear blue sea, or go scuba diving, snorkeling, scuba diving, kite surfing, paragliding and other ocean activities.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Unity Retired stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White and SU Rose Red CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Mod Rectangle and MFT Stitched Rectangle

Embellishments: Simple Stories Enamel Dots and Ribbon from an unknown vendor


Lynn McAuley said...

What a fun card, Jeanette!!Looks like me at the beach except I am usually wearing a trench coat!! I saw a picture of Galveston beach yesterday where it was covered with snow!! WOW!!

MiamiKel said...

Cute! I was going to say the same as Lynn - that's me heading to the beach, just with longer hair:)