Almost 3000 people from 27 Latin American countries live in the Grand Duchy and Venezuela is one of them♣. Here’s a guide for those who have just arrived from the “little Venice”.
Where to start
The first thing to know for any Venezuelan who arrives to Luxembourg is that there’s no Embassy or Consulate for the country in the Grand Duchy. The corresponding official entity is the one in Brussels, where you should go to as soon as you have a Luxembourgish address in order to make your official registration.
Naturally City Savvy is a great source of expat knowledge. However, websites like Vivir en Luxemburgo, Just Arrived or Lux Meet Greet are also very helpful for any newcomer, since they offer general information about administrative procedures, places to discover and visit, schools, neighbourhoods and even job searching tips and links.
But the two Venezuelan pearls that have become THE most important references for a closer home-contact: the association Bienvenue Venezuela (also on Facebook) and the Facebook group Venezolanos en Luxemburgo y Entornos. If planning to move to the Grand Duchy, these are the contacts you could first make.
The International Bazar Stand
Unless there are special occasions to meet during the year, like the occasional barbecues, informal gatherings or like the much expected C4Trio concert at Neumünster, most Venezuelans will unite for sure at the International Bazar at LuxExpo. One of the key contacts here is Carolina Lazo-Albrecht, who is also one of the directors of Bienvenue Venezuela and maybe one of the most active members of the community. This year’s stand presidents, however, are Elena Merz and Ivonne Gómez, who you can also reach through Bienvenue Venezuela.
Where to find their stand? No problem at all. Find the most cheerful guides holding some of the best rum-based cocktails of the world. All the money collected that day goes entirely to charity organisations.
Food and drinks
Sadly, there are no Venezuelan restaurants in Luxembourg at the moment. The closest you can get is heading to Mamacita or Chi-Chi’s for some Mexican delights, or to Brasserie de l’Arête or El Compañero for cuban meals.
¡Pero que no cunda el pánico! There are several shops where you can find not only white and yellow versions of Harina Pan (heart of Venezuela’s most emblematic plate: the Arepas), but also local beer and several key ingredients for other important “criollo”-liked dishes, such as plantain leaves for the Hallacas and even hardened cane sugar to prepare Papelón con Limón (or Agua de Panela), a traditional beverage.
The first place to go for all of this is Sabor Latino. Their offer extends Venezuelan ingredients, covering also Colombian, Mexican and even Peruvian gastronomical needs. And there’s more! They sell the closest version you can get in the Grand Duchy of Venezuelan fresh-cheese! Other smaller shops in Bonnevoie and the Gare areas also have Harina Pan, so you should be able to have a permanent stock.
And to indulge along with the food truck fever, you can also follow Mario Lavana’s itinerant restaurant, Le Delizie di Mario*. Don’t be fooled by the name; they sell Italian food AND Arepas! Shredded meat, chicken, tuna along with the traditional jam and cheese are some of your options. And coming soon, Quesillo and Tres Leches (traditional desserts)!
Some cultural insight
Gustavo Morales is another Venezuelan name you’ll probably hear a lot. Or maybe you have already, through the alias DJ Ghost? He’s the musical reference point of the community. Not only does he frequently play at night venues around Luxembourg and beyond, but also stands behind cultural projects like Another Level Productions and Itinerantes Jam Sessions (also on Facebook), a non profit organisation that supports and promotes artists of different creative backgrounds.
¡Bienvenido a Luxemburgo!
♣According to Delano’s ‘Latin American special‘ April, 2016.
*You can find him Mondays and Tuesdays at the Zone Industrielle Cloche d’Or in Gaspérich from 11h30 to 14h; Thursdays at the Kinnekswiss Park in the City center from 11h to 20h and Wednesdays and Fridays in Limpertsberg on Joseph Sax Avenue from 11h30 to 14h30.
Photo: Cristóbal Alvarado Minic/flickr (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))