Venezuela is a country that is located in the northwest area of South America, just above the equator. It is found on the coast and Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana border it. Some of the famous landmarks in South America are in Venezuela such as Angel Falls and Mount Roraima, the billion-year-old mountain. The Guiana Highlands are bumpy tablelands with lots of interesting trees, plants, and animals. They are home to both of these fantastic sites. They cover more than half of Venezuela's land and yet almost no one lives there except the few Native American tribes. Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall has a unique way of splashing water into the Orinoco River. The water accumulates underground and erupts out of cracks in the cliff. The Orinoco River runs from the Guiana Highlands to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the third longest river in South America and parts of the Amazon Rainforest can be found near it.
The llanos is located only in Venezuela and has over five million cattle living on its plains. The cattle are herded by llaneros or gauchos that live on them.
Christopher Columbus discovered Venezuela and called it 'Little Venice' because the Native American houses on Lake Maracaibo looked so much like that of the Venetians. Venezuela was a Spanish colony for three hundred years. Then the people of Venezuela revolted against Spanish rule. Simon Bolivar led them in the revolution. The country went through many dictators including Juan Vicente Gomez who with his twenty-seven year dictatorship brought the country's government together. Now Venezuela's government has three branches very much like the United States.
Caracas is the capital city of Venezuela. Other major cities include Maracaibo, a big port city, Valencia, and Barquisimeto. The population of Venezuela is 24,170,000. The people that live there are a mix of Africans, Amerindians, and Europeans (Spaniards, Italians, and Portuguese). Most of the people live in the cities. There are a couple of native Amerindian tribes who live in Venezuela. One is the Yanomami people who live in the Amazon Rainforest in southern Venezuela. Most people in Venezuela speak Spanish, but a few tribes keep their native language.
For part 2 of this story, click The Country of Venezuela part 2
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