251 - Venezuela; Getting to Know The Local Customs
News & community - Update

Venezuela; Getting to Know The Local Customs

Venezuela is experiencing a profound humanitarian crisis. A severe shortage of medicine and medical supplies make it extremely difficult for many Venezuelans to obtain essential medical care. Humanitarian aid is regularly needed at this vulnerable location. It’s important to learn the local customs of this country before you arrive.

Local Customs of
Venezuelans are known for their outgoing and sociable nature. This extroverted behavior is noticeable in the common forms of greeting and people’s body language. Venezuelans are used to standing very close in a conversation. Don’t back away when that happens. Among males, casual touching is quite usual.

Meanwhile, there are also some substantial differences in sign language compared to Western traditions. For example, it is considered vulgar and rude to point with your finger. Motioning with your entire hand is more polite. And at the same time, the North American “okay” sign is usually meant as an insult rather than as a symbol of agreement. You could hear the “ch-ch” sound when someone is calling for your attention or getting a bus to stop.

Nicknames that are often seen as offensive in the west are used as terms of endearment in Venezuela. People call each other names like Negro (“black”), Gordo (“fatso”) or Chino (“Chinaman”). These names are not meant to be degrading but intended to show friendship and fondness.

At work, while it is important to be punctual for meetings, you should be prepared for having to wait for your Venezuelan counterparts. There is a relaxed, easy-going pace of meetings and the tone is informal.

Focus on long-term relationships and get to know your partners in the field personally before starting your humanitarian project together. Be sure to clearly communicate your position in your organization to make your status known. Venezuelans like to be in control of meetings, so don't push the process.

We’re proud to serve any humanitarian who’s willing to help those in need in Venezuela or anywhere else in the world. We regularly arrange travel for compassionate humanitarian organizations who are dedicated to helping those in need. Never hesitate to contact us through our quick address locator should you have any questions.