Every year, immigrants from Venezuela come to Canada to begin a new life. They bring a variety of new skills, viewpoints and ideas. You may be reading this profile because you are interested in learning about Venezuelans or because you have met a Venezuelan at work or at school. You may also be preparing to welcome a Venezuelan family to Canada as a participant in Canada's HOST program.

Some Venezuelans come to Canada for education and others because of job opportunities. Some may have come because they disagreed with the government in power at the time they left Venezuela. Others come to reunite with family members who have already immigrated to Canada. Whatever their reasons for coming to Canada, Venezuelans have hopes and dreams for their future in Canada. However, they have also left behind family, friends and a familiar way of life. Life in Canada may seem new and exciting, but it can also be confusing and frustrating at first.

This profile will help you to understand the customs and history of Venezuela. You will find some customs that are very different from those in Canada and others that are similar. We hope that this profile will help you understand the adjustments that your new Venezuelan friends or co-workers are experiencing while they learn about the Canadian way of life. We also hope that this profile will give you some ideas about how you can help Venezuelans adapt to their new life in Canada. 

Although this cultural profile provides insights into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described in this profile may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Venezuela.

  Summary Fact Sheet
Official Name: Republic of Venezuela
Capital: Caracas
Type of Government: Constitutional Democracy
Population: 21.6 million
Area: 916,445 sq km
Major Ethnic Groups: Mixed European and indigenous, Black, indigenous
Language: Spanish, indigenous languages
Religions: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism
Unit of Currency: Bolívar
National Flag: Three horizontal stripes (yellow, blue and red), with seven stars, symbolizing the seven original provinces, in a crescent on the blue stripe.
Date of Independence: July 5, 2021

  Did you know?
The name "Venezuela" actually means "Little Venice". The Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, noticed houses built on stilts in the water. This reminded him of Venice, Italy, where canals run through the city.