About Venilale

Welcome – Benvindo

Venilale (pronounced vennee-LAH-lay) is in the high country in the east of Timor-Leste. Venilale is both a town and a local government area. The Venilale Sub-District has a population of about 16,000.

Tetun, Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesia are spoken, as well as local dialects Midiki and Makasae.


The economy of the area is mostly rural, based on rice grown in terraced fields worked by water buffalo, or in some cases by rotary hoes. Other crops are bananas, peanuts, copra, corn and vegetables, and there are pigs, goats, chickens and a few cows and horses. Most people are subsistence farmers and they face many obstacles: low crop yields, lack of access to clean water, poor infrastructure and inadequate market access as well as low literacy and education levels.

A market is held in Venilale twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday), and it is a focus for the economic and social life of the sub-district. Many people walk for hours to bring their produce for sale.

Local East Timor Government

Venilale Sub-District is within the Baucau District (a district has powers roughly equivalent to an Australian state). The Venilale Sub-District comprises eight sucos, or groups of villages. Each suco is headed by a xefe (pronounced CHEFF-ee), which became an elected position for the first time in mid-2009.



The Sub-District has five public health clinics, staffed by nurses, which provide immunisation, family planning, pre- and post-natal care and minor surgery. A Catholic orphanage in Venilale includes a new maternal health clinic, in addition to a public maternity ward at the clinic. An ambulance is stationed at Venilale; the closest major hospital is in Baucau.

School and Church

Schools in Timor-Leste are operated by the government and the Catholic Church. Venilale Sub-District has fourteen primary schools (four public and ten Catholic). Secondary education in Timor-Leste is divided into junior high schools (classes 1–3, equivalent to Years 7–9) and senior high schools (classes 1–3, equivalent to Years 10–12). Venilale has four junior high schools (three public, one Catholic), as well as as well as one public senior high school and a Catholic senior technical school. Tertiary courses are available in Baucau and there is a university in Dili.

Find Venilale, East Timor on Google Maps.

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