A booming state which lacks substantial natural resources; however, its human resources accustomed to creative effort and hard work consolidate its production capacity
Lara, the crossroads of all roads! For many years, this phrase has identified, like a slogan, the site. Truthfully, Aragua and Anzoátegui states also dispute such status. The authorities responsible for setting a strategy to introduce the state assets for the purpose of investment, tourism, or residence thought that the old saying wrapped up the best of Lara. Anybody going from western Venezuela to Caracas or eastern Venezuela forcefully passes by there.
It worked for years. But, after the first decade of the 21st century, it can be reasserted that the slogan was excelled with plans, actions and specific results. Lara has managed to occupy an important position in the Venezuelan map. No matter the shortage of natural resources, a competitive force has been trained in key economic sectors, including agriculture, trade, tourism, let alone craftsmanship and arts.
In colonial times, and during the war of Independence, the current Lara state was under the jurisdiction of the province of Caracas. After the Great Colombia broke up, in 1932, the province of Barquisimeto was established. It covered Quíbor, El Tocuyo, Carora and Barquisimeto, in addition to present Yaracuy state. Later on, in 1856, the province of Yaracuy including San Felipe and Yaritagua, was established. In 1881, the Great State of the North-West assembled Lara and Yaracuy. In August of that year, the state was named after a patriot hero, General Jacinto Lara. Since 1909, upon a constitutional reform, it keeps the present territorial division.
The site of almost two million inhabitants has a privileged geographical situation with a peculiar coexistence of arid and semiarid areas, and wet and cold weather in approximately 5 percent of the Lara territory, particularly at the foothill. Anyhow, dry, hot weather prevails. As for vegetation, it depends on relief and weather, but the prevailing one is xerophilous, represented by thistles, prickly pears and cují.
Local economy is based on several activities, namely: livestock, agriculture, trade and industry.
Coffee, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, bananas and corn, among others, are produced, but sugar cane is one of the most important and traditional agricultural goods. Noteworthy, in Altagracia, near Carora, wine-growing flourishes. The Altagracia vineyards of Pomar Wineries, born into a partnership between Polar Companies and Martell, are located there.
A significant activity in Venezuela such as livestock has even a species of cattle called Carora, as the result of in-house research and development. Therefore, there is relevant breeding of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and birds, and growing production of meat and dairy products.
Trade is wide and varied. For some local experts, trade is the most important economic sector in Barquisimeto, where around 60 percent of the state population is located. There are not recent numbers, but some government and private agencies estimate that over 50 percent out of the total working population in the city engage in trade.
Despite an ongoing argument about the feasibility of the industrial estate I, several industrial areas are located in Barquisimeto. They face troubles but have an excellent production capacity, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, agriculture and livestock, and textiles. In addition, for many years, small and medium-sized businesses and a consolidated cooperative movement in Lara are increasingly important.
Forest resources such as cují, sandbox tree, hog plum, cherry and vera have been recorded, and, to a lesser extent, in the mining sector there are refractory clay, siliceous sands, mercury, limestone and cement.
A FEW TIPS
There is no way to get lost in view of the land layout and planning of Barquisimeto, a standard Spanish grid. Numbered streets from east to west, crossed by routes or avenues, also numbered, are as clear as the GPS. If you are on the 11th street in your way to the 50th street and ask where is, locales will answer: "It is up there." It is a flat city though. Up or down will depend on the street numbers.
Barquisimeto people always speak of taxis. "I am going to the corner to take a taxi." "I came in taxi." Actually, it is not a taxi, but a van or small bus. A taxi, in the local language, is a cab. A species called "little fast" recently emerged. It is a cab used for several passengers at the same time.
The term "na' guará" is good for everything, meaning actually something big, large or admirable. It comes from "guaro," an endangered bird similar to a parrot. In this way, a "guarada" is a flock of flying parrots. Then "na´guará" came. And "guaro" is a multipurpose name given to the local people. "Guaropelao" is an affectionate term, but "this is good for a guaro" is on the opposite side. It is guaros' own business.
Translated by Conchita Delgado