Culture Quests

Venezuela

South America
Capital: Caracas
Languages: Spanish (official), Numerous indigenous dialects
Useful links: Kids Culture Corner: Venezuela | CIA World Factbook

The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Venezuela. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.

Au Pairs in General

  • The idea of being an au pair is a new concept in Venezuela.
  • Applicants from Venezuela are motivated by a desire to broaden their horizons, meet new people, and improve their English.
  • The job potential of an au pair improves upon her return to Venezuela.
  • Applicants sometimes have difficulty affording the program fees.
  • Young people in Venezuela have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
  • Curfews are not common.
  • Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
  • Nudity is not socially acceptable.
  • Venezuelans have a great sense of humor, are happy, and are great problem solvers.

Child Care Practices

  • Common discipline techniques include verbal reprimands and loss of privileges.
  • Physical discipline is not common in Venezuela.
  • Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, caring for younger family members, or babysitting.
  • Usually both parents share the childrearing responsibilities.
  • It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.

Driving Skills

  • Most applicants obtain their driving license at age 18.
  • A driving license is not difficult or expensive to obtain.
  • The steps involved in obtaining a driving license in Venezuela include:
    • Theoretical test
    • Practical test
    • Fees
  • The International driving permit is available.
  • Applicants typically practice driving using their parents’ car.
  • Most cars have manual transmissions.

English Language Skills

  • English is a compulsory subject in Venezuela in secondary school.
  • Classes focus on written skills.

Education

  • Approximately 40% of young women continue their studies at university.
  • Those who do not attend university attain a certificate at technical colleges or seek employment.
  • The academic year in Venezuela starts in September and ends in July.
  • The educational opportunities of the Au Pair in America program are not the most important reason for applying to the program.

Health

  • The most common inoculations are hepatitis B, tetanus, and diphtheria.
  • Most young women are not inoculated and tested for TB (tuberculosis).
  • Venezuela has a free health service.
  • Most young women do not visit the dentist on a regular basis as the cost is prohibitive.
  • “Eating disorders” are not common.

Diet

  • Most young people in Venezuela eat meat.
  • Vegetarianism is not common.

Religion

  • The most common religion in Venezuela is Catholic.
  • Most young people in Venezuela do not practice their religion regularly.

Telephone & Internet

  • Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
  • Family members may not be able to take a message in English from a potential host family.

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