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Snapshot of Venezuela – Spanish is the primary official language of Venezuela, though several other indigenous languages are also present within the country. Portuguese is also spoken in areas bordering Brazil. Over 90% of Venezuela’s population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, though other Protestant religions are also present. Most of the population lives in urban areas in the north of the country. Venezuela has been considered a “melting pot” nation, with many different cultural influences present. Indigenous, Spanish, African, and other European cultures have all contributed to the culture of Venezuela today. Popular festivals include Corpus Christi, which include parades, dancing, and elaborate costumes. Gaita Zuliana, Venezuelan rock, salsa, and calypso are popular musical styles in Venezuela. Baseball is the most popular sport in Venezuela, though basketball and soccer are also popular.
We are still collecting information on the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Venezuela was dedicated for the preaching of the restored Gospel in 1966; the country has rapidly expanded since. As of October 2013, the country held 157,795 members in four different missions, with 281 total congregations. In addition, there are four family history centers and one temple. Church membership in Venezuela has tripled within the past decade–what a wonderful time to be a missionary in Venezuela!
Meat (including beef, goat, chicken, and rabbit), corn, rice and beans, and plantains are common elements of Venezuelan meals. Fish and seafood dishes are common in coastal areas. Popular dishes include pabellón criollo (rice and black beans served with shredded beef), polenta (a cornmeal porridge often served with sausage), and pastitsio (a lasagna-like dish made with pasta and ground beef) and patacon (it is a plantain stuffed with cheese, meat and vegetables.)
Many of the people in the country travel either by car or by public transportation. Missionaries usually take the public transportation or walk. You will need comfortable and durable shoes. The public transportation is pretty good in Venezuela.
Venezuela is a pretty safe country. The Venezuelan people are very kind and love the gospel. In a very short time the church has grown dramatically. There are some less safe parts of the country, but these are known to the mission mission. Follow the mission rules.
Venezuela has a lot of Spanish influence. A lot of the architecture, music, and dances come from Spain. The festivals are very colorful and very well lit. Some popular festivals include: Drumming Feast of St. John, La Paradura del Nino, and Carnival. Carnival is celebrated every year in February forty days before Easter.
Spanish is the language of Venezuela. There are some local expressions and a few different terms, but you will learn everything you need to know in the MTC or in the mission field. As you speak with the locals you will learn the expressions quickly.
Venezuela is a walking mission. You will need good shoes and a good bag. You can find everything you need in the country.
Mailing times and prices are similar to other Latin American countries. Packages to Venezuela take 2 to 4 weeks to arrive. DHL and FedEx are more reliable services but also more expensive. For more information, you can visit The United Postal Service website for Venezuela.
Calle 73 Ave 3G # 3F-87, Edif. El Tama
Sector Bella Vista
Maracaibo , Zulia
Straight from the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“Cream cheese, nectarines, peanut butter, Pringles.”
*What did you eat the most of?
“Black beans, rice, spaghetti.”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“They thought we were FBI agents.”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Venezuela Maracaibo Mission?
“Relax and go with the flow, be adventurous.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“To gain my own testimony and not depend on someone else’s.”
“Love the people and you will have a great mission.”