Geography• Venezuela has more than 1,000 rivers• Orinoco is the 8th largest river in the world originating in the Guiana highlands and flowing 2,500 kilometers to the Atlantic ocean. – Highest water levels in August and the lowest in March and April – The river splits in two and allows for vessels to navigate the lower Orinoco to the Amazon – Most other rivers flow down from the northern mountains to the Rio Apure, a tributary of the Orinoco• Caroni River flows northward from the Guiana highlands into the Orinico and is the second most important river in Venezuela. It contributes significantly to the nation’s hydroelectric power production and has encouraged industrialization in the northern Guiana highlands and lower Orinoco valley.
The People• Approximately 27,000 people live in Venezuela today.• 50% Mestizo – Mixed European and American Indian – Mostly descended from Spaniards during the colonial period but also include Italian, Portuguese, Germans, French and English• 29% Arab• 10% African Descent – Mulattos – European/African – Zambos – Amerindian/African• 1% Indigenous
History• Evidence of human inhabitation of Venezuela is dated as far back as 15,000 B.C.• It is estimated that approximately one million people lived in Venezuela prior to the Spanish conquest.• Columbus landed in Venezuela in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas and gave it the nickname Land of Grace.• Spanish colonization of the country began in 1522 in the present day city of Cumana.• Early settlements were focused on the northern coast but the Spaniards pushed inland on the Orinoco River in the mid 18th century.• On July 5, 1811, Venezuela declared independence under the leadership of Francisco de Miranda but was devastated by an earthquake in Caracas in 1812.• A second Republic of Venezuela was proclaimed on August 7, 1813 but only lasted a few months.• On June 24, 1821 Simon Bolivar was victorious in the Battle of Carabobo against Spain and finally won Venezuela’s independence.• Another victory by Jose Prudencio Padilla and Rafael Urdaneta at the Battle of Lake Maracaibo helped seal Venezuela’s fate and induct it into the Gran Colombia, a republic of liberated countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and part of Brazil.• In 1830, a rebellion led by Jose Antionio Paez, liberated Venezuela from Gran Colombia and Paez became the first president of the new republic.
Sources• Venezuela - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela#History• Demographics of Venezuela - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Venezuela• Wayuu People - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayuu• Timoto – Cuica People - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timoto-cuicas• Geography of Venezuela - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Venezuela• Venezuelan War of Independence -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_War_of_Independence