For my country report, I chose the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. It sits on top of the ice cream cone part of South America, just north of the Equator, in the Northern Hemisphere.
(Click my link to go to an interactive map of Venezuela by National Geographic) 9.3928 N 66.3562 W
Perhaps the first time you saw Venezuela was in the movie Up.
Pixar animators used Venezuela as their setting for the story. This is a still from the movie.
This is Paradise Falls, from the movie Up.
Paradise Falls is based on the real life Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world.The falls are named after Jimmie Angel, a bush pilot. Jimmie Angel believed their was a lost river of gold in the tepuis.
My Family History
family journals from my uncle who lived in Venezuela in the 30’s
My great-great Uncle Ray lived in Venezuela in the 1930s. He worked for a Venezuelan oil company, the Mene Grande Oil Company. Uncle Ray kept a journal describing his time in South America.
Collection of spears that Uncle Ray traded the Venezuelan natives — he gave them tennis balls they gave him these spears. The longest is 6 1/2 feet long. The natives would paint the spear tips with a lethal plant based poison called curare.
During his time in Venezuela, my Uncle Ray was able to make a flight to Angel Falls with Jimmie Angel.
Angel Falls is 3200 feet tall, that is 15 times taller than Niagara Falls! It is so tall, the water turns to mist before it reaches the ground.
The flat tops of those mountains are called tepuis. Tepuis are flat table top mountains that are isolated from other places. That means the animals and plants on tepuis are unique. Because they are hard to reach, they are also unspoiled.
The highest concentration of tepuis is found in Venezuela. There are approximately 115 in Venezuela and half of them are still completely untouched by humans because of their remoteness.
Fun with Land Forms
This is a B.A.S.E. jumper diving off of Angel Falls. At an altitude of 2,000 feet having been in free-fall for at least 1,000 feet, the jumper is falling at approximately 120 miles per hour, and is approximately 10.9 seconds from the ground.
Fill Me Up
In Venezuela, gas is cheaper than bottled water. You can buy a gallon of gas for 18 cents. Venezuela has the cheapest gasoline in the world, because of the immense oil fields that lie beneath the country. (Stavely Head 2012)
Los Roques National Park in Venezuela one of the most beautiful natural areas of Venezuela. It is listed in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. It has no crime. It has very little shade. It has warm, crystal clear water.
This is a video taken by a jumper from Angel Falls. You can skip to 3:07 which is when you see the Falls and the base jumpers.
Venezuelan children can go to a music center and study any instrument for free. There are 300 music centers in the country. It is a way to help poor people improve their life. The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra is the best high school musicians from Venezuela’s life-changing music program, El Sistema.
These days, Gustavo Dudamel is the conductor of the LA Symphony, you do not have to travel as far to see him.
Led here by Gustavo Dudamel, they play Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement, and Arturo Márquez’ Danzón No. 2.
Recipes to Try
Our family friends, the Rempes lived in Venezuela for a few years. They shared some of their favorite recipes with me.