Though the average Venezuelan adheres to traditional Western values and attitudes in general, they can by no means be classified as conservative or boring.
Typically, both the immediate and the extended family unit in Venezuela is celebrated and revered. Their elderly are respected and mostly cared for amongst family members with the adult children often never leaving the parental home. Special occasions such as birthdays and weddings are frequent, great social family affairs. Despite an increase in households having to survive without a male role model due to absent fathers and an apparent increase in murder rate amongst young men, the family unit remains a conventional, social supportive institution.
In Venezuela, long-established male and female roles are still honored and upheld. Even in a changing society where more women are attaining a tertiary education, the roles at home remains traditionally defined. The Venezuelan man remains proudly ‘macho’ and chivalrous.
In a country where the rich-poor divide remains vast, wealth is generally defined by your address and the car you drive. An element of snobbery, pretentiousness and over-indulgency, started by the oil boom in the 1970s, is rife and sustained amongst wealthy Venezuelans.
Pride and Vanity
Venezuela holds the record for the most internationally recognized beauty pageants won by any country. Venezuelan women endeavor to look as feminine and beautiful as possible, with money being the only limit to the extremes they will go to, to attain perfect beauty in a country obsessed with good looks and stunning women. Apart from the intense pride that Venezuelans hold for their beauty queens, they are also extremely patriotic, and hold their national historical and current heroes and national geographic treasures in the highest regard.
Ninety percent of the population practice Roman Catholicism. Although not everyone is completely devout, the Venezuelans are committed to their Catholic feasts, festivals and traditions. Other religions such indigenous religious beliefs make up about 8% of the population.
Although the Venezuelans have a healthy respect for authority and powerful figures, they tend to be very relaxed about adhering to the law in certain instances. There seems to be a general consensus that the law does not always work practically and therefore it is in order to sometimes bend the rules or even break the law in the name of self preservation and survival.
The Venezuelans are a determined, diligent nation, continually striving to improve and better themselves through education, even if that means having two jobs and studying part time. Although their time keeping can be frustrating at times it is important to remember that they are a typical Latin American people; hot-blooded, physically expressive, social, hospitable and gregarious. You will be made to feel very well welcome in Venezuela as a visitor if you come with a spirit of community, fun, participation and spontaneity.