An Overview of Caracas

Situated on a plateau along the northern coast of South America, Caracas acts as the country’s center of commerce and culture. Venezuela once was a lush haven for the indigenous tribes of Carib, Arawak and Chibcha people who were sustained by its lush rain forests and beaches, until the country became colonized by Spain. As the country’s centerpiece, Caracas reveals a variety of cultural traditions rooted in its native and Spanish heritage.

Founded in 1567 as Santiago de León de Caracas by Diego Losada, plundered by English pirates, burned, & torn by earthquakes, Caracas nevertheless has grown into the political, economic and cultural capital of Venezuela. It has long since outgrown that small settlement, stretching the length of the valley, up the hillsides and into intersecting canyons (source).

Spreading along a high plateau that’s partitioned from the sea by towering green mountains, Venezuela’s capital presents a dense urban fabric, with scores of skyscrapers sticking out of a mass of low-rise buildings. Fast-paced and cosmopolitan, this progressive city nevertheless has over four centuries of history buried beneath its glass-and-concrete monuments to oil-fueled affluence, while signs of corrosion mar its patina of modernism (source).

Generally speaking, Venezuela remains a patriarchal society and its family traditions closely follow. Men are expected to be the bread winners, while women are expected to stay home and rear children. Family ties, including extended family ties, are important in Venezuela, evidenced by most members living in close proximity. Although these traditions and kinship ties are the cornerstone of society in Venezuela, you will find that they are much more relaxed in Caracas. Western influence has led to women working outside of the home, acquiring a college degree and breaking away from traditional gender roles.

Religion in Caracas

Caracas is home to a variety of Venezuelan religious traditions. Catholicism in Venezuela follows most closely to the Roman Catholic church. Masses typically are held each day of the week, but followers are expected to attend every Sunday. Most indigenous religious traditions of Venezuela did not survive the colonization, modernization and urbanization of Caracas, but remnants can be seen through the widespread adherence to the following of Maria Lionza, a healer whose likeness is displayed on a statue in the middle of Caracas. Ritualistic traditions that include falling into trances to connect with Lionza are widely practiced by Venezuelans from all backgrounds (source).

Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

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