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Lagunillas (Zulia, Venezuela)

Municipio Lagunillas, Ciudad Ojeda

Last modified: 2021-08-26 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: zulia | lagunillas | ciudad ojeda |
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image by Andrés González, Wikimedia Commons, 24 July 2015

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The municipality of Lagunillas (239,284 inhabitants in 2012; 975 sq. km) is located on the eastern coast of Lake Maracaibo.
Lagunillas is named for small lagunas ("lagunillas") formed by the flood of Lake Maracaibo during the rainy season. The village of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción de Lagunillas was established in 1730, to be renamed in 1774 Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria de Las Lagunillas. Visited that year by Bishop Mariano Marti Stadella, the village counted 291 inhabitants forming 64 households living in 38 huts built on piles.
The first Law on Territorial Division, adopted on 28 April 1856 by the Congress of the Republic of Venezuela, divided the Province of Maracaibo in five Cantons and 26 Parishes. The Parish of Lagunillas was part of the Canton of Altagracia. The social unrest that lasted from 1858 to 1863 prevented the implementation of the divisions, which were eventually established after peace had been restored, with a few territorial modifications. A Decree adopted on 23 January 1895 by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Zulia fixed the limits of the Parish of Lagunillas.
Lagunillas entered in modern era in 1925-1926, when the Venezuelan Gulf Oil performed the first oil drillings. Oil was subsequently extracted by the Lago Petroleum Co. and the Venezuelan Oil Concessions Ltd (VOC). Oil industry attracted migrants, who lived in huts anarchically established on floating wooden platforms. During the rainy season, the settlement was totally flooded; the path connecting it to the nearest villages, Tasajeras and Las Morochas, was transformed into a marsh that could be crossed only with small boats. The oil companies erected a contention wall to protect the oil plants from flooding.
On 19 January 1937, President Eleazar López Contreras ordered the building of the town of Ciudad Ojeda to relocate the inhabitants of Lagunillas, who still lived in unsafe conditions. Named for Alonso de Ojeda, the discoverer of Lake Maracaibo, the new town was inaugurated on 9 July 1939. On 13 November 1939, a big blaze suppressed the old town of Lagunillas, claiming more than 200 lives.
Source: - "Conoce la Historia del Municipio Lagunillas (Venezuela)", by Francisco Antonio Chávez Yunez
Ivan Sache, 24 July 2015

The Flag

Flag of Lagunillas municipality (capital town: Ciudad Ojeda) at <>.
Dov Gutterman, 3 June 2005

The flag of Lagunillas is vertically divided black, symbolizing the resources in oil, celestial blue, symbolizing the water of Lake Maracaibo, and green, symbolizing the resources of agriculture and cattle-breeding. In the center of the flag is placed a stylized representation of the legendary phoenix bird rising from its ashes. The phenix represents the municipal capital, Ciudad Ojeda, established after a blaze had destroyed the old village of Lagunillas, symbolized by the fire placed beneath the bird.
The flag, unanimously adopted on 20 April 1982 by the Municipal Council, was amended in November 2000. It appears that the phenix emblem was originally placed on a yellow oval .
Sources: - "La bandera municipal", by Omar Bracho, Municipal Chronicler (original description) - "Municipio Lagunillas", official presentation (amended description)
Ivan Sache, 24 July 2015

Coat of Arms

from <>