Understanding Venezuela by learning how they learned
An Oral Histories Project
No country's history is immune to outside influences. Especially in our ever-globalizing, modern world, the relationships each country forms with multinational firms, and the institutions crafted to regulate them, can define the future.
Perhaps nowhere is this truer than Venezuela. Both its decades of affluence and current struggles can be traced to its relationship with (and overdependence on) oil and the foreign companies who extracted it.
This site is dedicated to building a better understanding of the development and life of foreign oil in Venezuela, both in academia and the public sphere. More specifically, it explores the dynamics of the residential oil camp communities these firms created. I draw on my own studies, on the education in these communities, as well as broader inquiries.
With the help of many incredible people who have kindly and enthusiastically assisted the search, I have found as many residents of these oil camps as possible to talk about their lives. Many of them were children when they lived in Venezuela, and they represent the last generational chance to glimpse the early stages of these camps. I sat down with these people, who graciously told me about their lives. These conversations are published as recorded oral histories, with accompanying transcripts, in the hope that scholars can use these as primary sources to power their future work.
Before you read the stories, I encourage you to read our site introduction for a primer on this critical narrative.