Life in Venezuela
Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity, with habitats ranging from the Andes mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rainforest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east. CIPLC is located on the Caribbean coast near Puerto La Cruz. The local airport is General José Antonio Anzoátegui International Airport in Barcelona, Venezuela.
CIPLC employees live in oceanside condos provided by the school. The housing is large and furnished. The grounds are well-maintained with pools and often other forms of recreation such as play grounds, tennis and basketball courts. Teams of security personnel guard the grounds 24 hours a day.
Many activities of CILPC’s faculty center around the ocean. Weekends can be spent lounging at the beach, enjoying fresh fish on one of the surrounding islands, or practicing one of many water sports including snorkeling and scuba diving, kayaking, wake boarding, sailing, and kite surfing. Many employees choose to own boats and explore the surrounding area at their leisure.
CIPLC faculty are often very active. Many take advantage of ‘El Morro’ and can be seen hiking, running, or mountain biking up and down this big hill. Some faculty compete on a local swim team, take salsa dancing or yoga classes, or work out at the local gym. A weekend trip to Mochima National Park or Los Altos brings even more opportunities to hike, swim and explore the biodiversity that Venezuela has to offer.
Climate and Travel
Venezuela is entirely located in the tropics over the Equator to around 12° N. The temperature in the Puerto la Cruz area ranges from 20 to 29 °C, peaking in August. The rainy season peaks in August with relatively little rainfall by March. The rest of Venezuela varies greatly in terrain and climate. It is a diverse and beautiful country that includes warm and humid low-elevation plains, Orinoco Delta of the far east and the Amazonian Jungle in the south.
CIPLC faculty travel to many different places in Venezuela. Many participate in weekend trips to Margarita Island for relaxation on the beach or Mochima National Park and Los Altos for hiking and kayaking. A little farther is Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world and the inspiration for ‘paradise falls’ in the animated movie “Up”. The Orinoco Delta gives adventurous travels the option to boat, kayak, and view river dolphins and other unique wildlife. In the Andes Mountains in the west of the country are quaint mountain towns, beautiful hiking, an astronomical observatory, ziplining, rock climbing, biking and more. Another popular tourist destination is the town of Colonia Tovar. Settled in the mid 1800’s by German immigrants, this mountain villiage has maintained it cultural imprint while adopting some of the Venezuelan flare. A unique place to order sausage and sip on hot chocolate. Travel opportunities abound!
Living in Venezuela is not without it’s challenges. It often requires you to be both flexible and patient. With an economy in decline, purchases are quite cheap for foreigners but lack the variety and options of western grocery stores and shopping malls. Things often take much more time than expected including trips to the bank and car repairs. The power and water may go off occasionally, although usually not for much duration. A successful candidate for employment at CIPLC will understand the realities of overseas living and have realistic expectations for Venezuelan infrastructure and economy.