|Although friends are important to Venezuelans,
the family is at the centre of their lives. Most spend a great deal of
their free time with their families. Three generations of people may live
together in the same house or apartment, and elderly people are usually
treated with respect. Grandparents, or abuelitos, often look after
young children if both parents work outside the home.
Venezuelans tend to be tolerant of cultural
and racial differences. Many Venezuelans have married people who are not
of their own race or culture. As a result of this intermarriage, the majority
of Venezuelans are of mixed race, or mestizo.
|Women in Venezuela often work outside of the home.
Many are professionals such as lawyers and doctors. Women now outnumber
men in many university programs. They also take an active role in politics,
and many women have been part of the Venezuelan Congress. Nevertheless,
women are still expected to be responsible for the care of children, the
elderly and the home.
families like to eat out and meet friends in restaurants. This may be why
Caracas has more restaurants per inhabitant than any other Latin American
|Larger cities have modern housing developments
and apartment buildings. The Venezuelan government has sponsored housing
developments, but because of recent economic difficulties, many people
cannot afford good housing. Some poor families build their own houses in
shantytowns around the cities. These areas are called ranchos. They
often lack city services such as electricity, water and sewers.
Some people in the coastal regions of Venezuela
live in houses on stilts called palefitos. The stilts keep the house
dry and free from some insects. In the mountainous Andean region, houses
are often made of adobe bricks or lime mortar to keep cold winds out. Some
of the indigenous peoples have unique types of housing. Yanomami people
live under a large circular roof called a yano. One yano can hold
up to one hundred families. Each family has its own place within the yano.
of the most famous women in Venezuelan politics is Irene Sáez. Not
only was she elected governor of the State of Nueva Esparta, but she has
also won the Miss Universe beauty pageant. She has created a new national
party called IRENE (Integración Representación Nueva Esperanza).