Ciudad Ojeda

My gorgeous house in Ciudad Ojeda

My gorgeous house in Ciudad Ojeda

I lived in Ciudad Ojeda for two school years. That is the longest I’ve lived anywhere for a while. Before Ojeda, I was either in college or grad school (and thus relocating based on roommate situations every year or so), or in a place that wasn’t the right fit for me. Surprisingly this place quickly began feeling like home.

When I first heard Escuela Las Morochas was in Ciudad Ojeda I freaked a little! My Director sold me on the place when she said that there wasn’t much to do other than salsa dance (Cuban style!) and improve your Spanish. Thankfully those are two things I really enjoy doing!

On the surface it doesn’t really sound like an ideal location:

  1. No public transit
  2. Not much in the way of cultural activities (there wasn’t even a mall with a cinema while I was there)
  3. Bordered by a very polluted lake (Lake Maracaibo) that I couldn’t swim in
  4. The nearest big city where I could find good restaurants, shopping, movies, and nightlife was an hour away
  5. The beach was a seven hour drive away
Welcome lunch with the staff in Ciudad Ojeda

Welcome lunch with the staff in Ciudad Ojeda

However, now that I have been gone for a few months I’m realizing that there are quite a few things I miss about Ojeda:

  1. My amazing friends that I met while I was there
  2. While the nightlife is nearly non-existent, my friends were always willing to come dance at my house or ready to throw a dance party in their backyards
  3. My salsa academy was only a short drive from my house in a neighborhood where I felt safe
  4. I never felt unsafe
  5. Due to the lack of other activities it was really easy for me to make time for the gym or just working out in my house.
  6. The terrific sense of community I felt with the students and parents at the school I taught at
  7. The classes of 8-12 students
  8. Xocol Art- brownies, frapuccinos, parchita bon bons, and the great people who work there
  9. El Rey de Schawarma- the workers knew me by name and made the best schawarma, dolma, and falaffels
  10. My HUGE house with plenty of space to dance in and my KING size bed
  11. Even though they are clunkers, I miss the little red Yaris that the school let me drive for two years for free (other than insurance)
First time driving the red Yaris (or any car) in Venezuela

First time driving the red Yaris (or any car) in Venezuela

So if you are thinking of teaching in Venezuela I would consider teaching in Ciudad Ojeda if I were you!



4 responses to “Ciudad Ojeda

  1. Pingback: Why I Stay in Venezuela | Teaching Wanderlust·

  2. I taught at ELM for 2.5 years (2004-2005), and I lived in that same house and drove the red yaris! We called it the lobster car, and it was pretty new back then. I loved it there for all the same reasons you did. Best of luck to you teaching and traveling!


    • Hi Traci!

      Haha! What a small world! I love it!

      I was never very good at naming cars. We just called it “The Red Yaris”.

      Where are you now? Still doing international teaching?


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