culture

Check Out Venezuela’s Tumultuous And Profound History Through Photos

karlmarx8n / Instagram

While the world is still recovering from the shock of seeing the iconic Notre Dame burn, it’s more important than ever for us to appreciate the artifacts we have access to that show the trials and tribulations of history. Where Venezuela is concerned, there are plenty of things that showcase its tumultuous and amazing history. And so, we’ve found a collection of beautiful, thought-provoking, and politically stark pictures from Venezuelan history for you to peruse.

1. Pre-Colombian Venezuela

Flickr / British Library

Venezuela before Christopher Colombus’ arrival had an estimated population of one million, and hosted a combination of societies: the Kalina, Auaké, Caquetio, Mariche, and Timoto-Cuicas. The Timoto-Cuicas boasted a particularly complex culture, and were known for constructing pre-planned villages and irrigated fields.

2. Discovery by the Spanish

Instagram / @heandshe_travelblog

Christopher Columbus arrived in Venezuela in 1498, effectively naming the country “Little Venice” because the local Indians had built houses over water by using stilts. Columbus’ arrival marked the start of a period of slavery in the region, where the Spanish exploited the locals and gouged the region of pearls.

3. Simon Bolivar

Instagram / @hechoscriollosoficial

Seeing an opportunity in Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory over Spain, Simon Bolivar took advantage of the Spanish instability and launched a revolution that lead to independence for Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia. By 1824, Bolivar was not only the ruler of the new “Grand Colombia”, but also Peru’s liberator. Don’t be fooled, though – no matter his track record for leading successful revolutions, this guy was a dictator.

4. Venezuelan Independence

Instagram / @rafaelcalderaoficial

By 1930, Venezuela had fully seceded from Grand Colombia … and ended up with a series of military dictators for rulers. The first of these was General José Antonio Páez. 

5. Martin Tovar y Tovar

Instagram / @lahistoria200

Born in 1827, Martin Tovar y Tovar is one of the most prominent painters from 19th century Venezuela. He ended up participating in Venezuela’s first ever art exhibition in Exposición Anual de Bellas Artes, and was a favorite of the Venezuelan President at the time, Antonio Guzmán Blanco.

6. Alejandro Chataing

Instagram / @micaracasantigua

This guy made a name for himself creating iconic Venezuelan architecture, designing the Arch of the Federation built in El Calvario, and Villa Zoila in 1904. One of his last works was the Miramar Hotel, in Macuto.

7. Jesús Rafael Soto

Instagram / @bijutsutecho_com

Even though Jesús Rafael Soto made his name as both a sculptor and painter in Venezuela, his artistic career began when he was hired to paint cinema posters as a young boy. Not only did he create interactive works, he also was the director of Escuela de Artes Plasticas, Maracaibo between 1947 and 1950.

8. A Coup or Two

Instagram / @eluniversal

1945 saw the establishment of a civilian government, after decades of military rule. This didn’t last for long, however, because in 1948 Venezuela’s first democratically elected leader, President Romulo Gallegos, was overthrown by the military. This was a little unsurprising, given that Venezuela had been living for decades under military dictatorships, and had seen president after president replaced by force.

9. Maritza Sayalero

Instagram / @joseluisbricenorvzla

Boasting the title as the first Venezuelan Miss Universe winner in 1979, Maritza Sayalero inspired the beauty pageant scene in Venezuela to really pick up its pace. The Miss Venezuela pageant is now one of the most competitive beauty contests in the world. 

10. Democratic Rule

Instagram / @jadsotillo

Once again, Venezuela saw a military coup. This time, however, a civilian won the democratic election, and leftist Romulo Betancourt became the President of Venezuela. He oversaw the 1963 elections, and the first democratic transition between civilian presidents for Venezuela.

11. Puntofijismo

Instagram / @masoneriauniversal

Raúl Leoni became President of Venezuela in 1964, at the start of this period. Basically, elections were limited to competition between two major parties, a practice otherwise known as puntofijismo.

12. Carolina Herrera

Instagram / @carolinaherrera

An entrepreneur and fashion designer, Carolina Herrera has been named as one of the world’s best-dressed women. In fact, she was responsible for dressing people the likes of Renee Zellweger and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Beyond her fashion and bridal collection, Herrera has also released 10 fragrances, and been awarded the Gold Medal from the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute (1997), the Award for Excellence from The International Center in New York, and the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts of Spain. You know, just to name a few achievements.

13. Oscar D’León

Instagram / @oscardleon

Recognised by his moniker, El Sonero del Mundo, Oscar D’Leon was the first Latin American to be contracted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). While his career saw him in quite a few different bands, his most well-known salsa music includes, “Deja Que Te Quiera”, “Préstame Tu Piel” and “Esperando Por Ella”.

14. Luis Aparicio

Instagram / @baseballalmanac

Venezuela is no stranger to baseball. In fact, at this stage, it’s had 219 players compete at the Major League level in the US. Luis Aparicio is one celebrated Venezuelan baseball player, having played on teams such as the Chicago White Sox, the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox. And, Aparicio commanded some serious bragging rights – he had been a 13-time All Star player, and won the Gold Glove Award nine times.

15. Humberto Fernández-Morán Villalobos

Instagram / @humbertofernandezmoran

Humberto Fernández-Morán Villalobos is a research scientist known for his invention of the diamond knife/scalpel for ultrathin microtomy and the ultra microtome. Basically, he did some great work with cells and tissue.

16. Hugo Chavez

Instagram / @karlmarx8n

Hugo Chavez started his career in politics from a very controversial standing – a failed coup in 1992 saw him imprisoned for a few years. In 1994, he was forgiven by Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera. Which was just as well for him, considering that Chavez ended up successfully running for president in 1998. Chavez didn’t end up leaving his position until 2013, when he died after a severe bout of cancer. 

17. A Venezuela-Russia Partnership

Twitter / @Ruptly

2006 was the year Venezuela signed a 3 billion dollar arms deal with Russia, and two years later the two countries signed an agreement over oil and gas. This saw Venezuela shift away from its efforts to cultivate a strong relationship with the US. In fact, Russia ended up doing joint military exercises with Venezuela – the first time the Russian navy was in the Americas since the Cold War. These events saw the beginning of a partnership that continues to this day.

18. Nicolás Maduro

Instagram / @nicolasmaduro

2013 saw the election of Venezuela’s current President, Nicolás Maduro.

19. Mercosur

Instagram / @sediceenlaweb

In 2012, after vying for a position in the trading bloc for years, Venezuela was finally accepted into Mercosur. At this stage, Mercosur is basically a political and trade agreement Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela – and some would say an indicator of Venezuela’s up-and-coming economy.

20. Gustavo Cisneros

Instagram / @adrianacisnerosceo

A Venezuelan-Dominican media tycoon, this is one guy to watch out for. According to Forbes Magazine in 2014, he is one of the world’s most richest men. His company, The Cisneros Group of Companies, owns Venevision International, a producer and distributer of Spanish-language telenovelas. It also owns Venevisión, a Venezuelan television network, the Leoned del Caracas baseball team, and the Miss Venezuela beauty pageant. The New York Times has said that he’s also “one of Latin America’s most powerful figures”.

And so now you’re one bueno Venezuelan history buff! What surprised you in our short tour of Venezuelan history? Share it with us on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

20 Things Mexican Families Do That You Didn’t Realize Were Odd Until You Moved Out

Culture

20 Things Mexican Families Do That You Didn’t Realize Were Odd Until You Moved Out

Every culture has its quirky traditions, but Mexican families are kind of extra when it comes to funny habits and superstitions.

Here are 20 perfect examples of things Mexican families do that other families uh…. don’t.

1. Heating up tortillas on the stove

Credit: Instagram. @sirdemic

No Mexican worth her salt heats up tortillas in the microwave.

But the first time you fired up the back burner to char a tortilla at someone else’s house, I bet they were surprised.

2. Bonus points if you flipped them with your fingers

Credit: Instagram. @marvin10g

Also, I don’t know what you used tongs for in your house, but in a Mexican kitchen, you better flip those babies with your fingers, and you better be fast.

3. Eating Menudo on Christmas morning

Credit: Instagram. @cilantrolimedtla

Ah yes, waking up on Christmas morning to a crackling fire, a fresh snowfall, and the smell of tripe and cow’s feet simmering on the stove. Mmmm.

4. Shoving people’s faces in their birthday cake

Credit: Instagram. @allinonephotography_

No one really seems to know how or why this tradition started, but there’s no escaping it in a Mexican family.

Someone’s going to trick you into “smelling” your cake, and you might as well just accept it.

5. Tamale assembly lines

Credit: Instagram. @zrydsp

Making tamales isn’t just a multi-step process, it’s a crucial Mexican family bonding experience. Pull up a chair and get to work spreading the masa.

6. Cooking everything in lard or bacon grease

Credit: Instagram. @foodiemom4life

Mexican Abuelitas don’t mess around with olive oil or cooking spray.

Everything tastes better fried in pure fat.

7. And still calling it “vegetarian”

Credit: Instagram. @veganeats_nc

In my nana’s kitchen, vegetarian = no visible meat.

Those beans cooked in bacon fat? Si, vegetarian.

8. Bringing your own Lechera out to eat

Credit: Instagram. @cheekiekingsbakes

You can’t just assume that the restaurant is going to have it, and what are you going to do, eat your pancakes with syrup??

9. Wrapping hot dogs in tortillas

Credit: Instagram. @whimsicalann

The best snack you’re going to find. Of course, it’s not just hot dogs, you can wrap anything in a nice corn tortilla and call it lunch.

10. Putting limón and chile on everything

Credit: Instagram. @pardonmyfrenchslo

And I mean everything.

I’ve seen Mexican ladies putting Tapatio on their ice cream.

11. Making the sign of the cross when someone sneezes.

Credit: Instagram. @ljbtravels

It’s not enough to say “bless you”. Mexican families go the extra step to make sure God notices.

Read: 20 Latino Brands That Are Clearly Superior To All Others

 12. Shouting “dale dale dale” at children hitting a piñata

Credit: Instagram. @eventosbigparty

The piñata has become a staple of lots of children’s birthday parties, but you know you’re at a Mexican family party when everyone is chanting “dale!” at the top of their lungs.

Read: These 20 Memes Will Have Latinas Saying ‘Same AF’

13. Putting something gold in your champagne

Credit: Instagram. @abalagur

I didn’t know this was a Mexican tradition until recently.

Apparently, a gold object in celebratory champs is supposed to bring good luck and fortune. Can’t hurt!

Read: These Are The Legendary Wrestlers From The Golden Age In Mexico

14. Drinking Abuelita and calling it “hot chocolate”

Credit: Instagram. @hotchocdaily

Remember the first time you had hot chocolate that wasn’t Abuelita and you couldn’t understand why it was so bland?

Read: Here Are 27 Gifts For Your Pan Dulce-Obsessed Self

15. Making “instant guacamole” by mashing Tapatio into half an avocado

Credit: Instagram.@wujcik

The laziest of guacamole recipes will always hold a special place in a Mexican girl’s heart.

Read: 24 Ways To Use Avocado That Aren’t Guacamole

16. Going swimming in your “chonies”

Credit: Instagram. @ramblesandrunaways

For some reason, it wasn’t just swimming in your underpants if you called them “chonies”.

17. Calling any shoe that’s not a boot or a sneaker “chanclas”

Credit: Instagram. @rosalbabarragan

A chancla is supposed to be a very specific type of woven sandal, but in my house, everything from a flip-flop to an open-toe heel was a chancla.

18. Bonus point if you ever got hit with a chancla for being bad

Credit: Instagram. @tonydovalito

Or, just threatened with one. Callate!

19. Putting Vicks VapoRub on everything

Credit: Instagram. @cat_mitch73

The first line of defense against everything from a stuffy nose to a stomach ache.

If Vicks can’t fix it, you’re in big trouble.

Read: 25 Vicks VapoRub Inspired Products For Bath Bomb Night

20. Boiling cinnamon to cancel out any bad smell

Credit: Instagram. @photo.komorebi

Who needs Febreze? That sweet cinnamon smell will bring you right back home 🙂


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