View of Cabimas.
"La fuerza del ciudadano, proviene de la familia
("The strength of the citizen comes from its family")
|o Total||862 km2 (785 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (9 ft)|
|o Density||477.81/km2 (1,237.5/sq mi)|
|Area code(s)||(+58) 264 , (+58) 371 , (+58) 271|
Before 1900, Venezuela was known to possess commercial quantities of petroleum. One major find was the 'Zumaque 1' well in 1914, in the area of Mene Grande, about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Cabimas. It was the blowout of the Barroso No. 2 well in Cabimas in 1922 that marked the beginning of Venezuela's modern history as a major producer.
Cabimas still plays an important role in production from the nation's largest oil fields, which are located around and beneath Lake Maracaibo. Other fields are increasing in importance, mainly in eastern Venezuela. Most refining in Venezuela takes place in refineries outside the Cabimas area.
The city has an area of 604 km2, a population of 256,993 inhabitants and a population density of 425.5 hab/km2.
Its limits are: Lake Maracaibo to the west, the municipalities of Santa Rita and Miranda to the north, the state of Lara Estado Lara to the east and the municipalities of Simón Bolívar and Lagunillas to the south. Its geographical location is 10°28' lat. N 70°52' long. W to 10°19' lat. N 71°27' long. W.
Some neighbourhoods of Cabimas are:
"Cabima" is an aboriginal word of Carib origin; it is the name of a tree also known as Copaiba (Copaifera Officiallis) from which trunk an oil with medicinal properties is extracted, also known as oil stick.
Cabimas was founded by a group of Cistercians monks in 1758 as the Mission of Saint Ambrosio of Punta de Piedra, located in the modern day "La Mision". Some archeological remains have been found, however not a single wall survives. The existence of Cabimas is stated in the chronicles of Venezuelan Archbishop Mariano Marti who visited the town in 1771. The town grew as a fishing village on Lake Maracaibo's coast until the discovery of oil by the Venezuelan Oil Concessions (VOC) with the well Santa Barbara (R2) in 1917. However, it was the well "Los Barrosos 2" (R4) (1922) which 100,000 bpd blow out reached the world newspaper's headlines. Many oil companies and workers from other parts of Venezuela and abroad came to Cabimas, increasing its population. Most foreign personnel were of American or Dutch origin. La Rosa Oilfield was given in concession by Venezuela president Juan Vicente Gómez.
The development and transformation of the city followed the oil industry. The main avenues (F, G, H, J, K, L, 31,32,33, among others) were named following a coordinate system made by the oil company Shell to locate its wells.
Cabimas was populated by people from different regions of Venezuela, mostly people from the east, the Andes, and Falcon. Furthermore, a sector founded by Falconians was named "Corito" (in Spanish small Coro, Coro is the capital of Falcon state). Other sectors received names from nearby oil facilities like the streets R5 and R10 named after oil wells and Gasplant sector named after a natural gas facility.
The city was developed with oil field camps (Las 40's, Las 50's, Concordia, Hollywood, Campo Blanco, Campo Staff -modern day Las Palmas-, Las Cupulas), the newly arrived built their own houses around them, so the city development was not planned. It was also populated by Syrians, Lebanese, Chinese, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, and Greeks, thus shaping the local markets.
Besides oil production, the most outstanding contribution of the city to the country's history was the founding of the first union of workers the Oil Workers and Employees Union (SOEP by its Spanish initials), which still operates in the same building since 1936.
The weather is hot and humid with an average of over 30 °C year round. The oil well flares produce large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), which produces greenhouse effects which make the place even hotter. Precipitation is low during most of the year but the rain is heavy during the wet season.
The terrain is mainly flat with noticeable depressions which were former lagoons, dried to build houses, for instance, Guavina (alligator) a place in Guavina is still called "the swamp", and the "Bajaíta del Tuerto Teófilo" ("One eyed Teófilo's slope").
The soil is made of sand deposits and very few rocks. This, combined with aquifers, allows erosion during the rainy season making the streets collapse, producing notorious holes in the streets.
The main activity is the oil industry, since the discovery of the well "Barroso 2" (R4) IN 1922. Currently the oil fields of La Rosa in land and La Salina in Maracaibo's lake. Those are mature fields producing medium/heavy oil from La Rosa formation of Miocene age. La Rosa field was given in concession to German oil company Preussag Energy from 1996 to 2001 when it passed to the Venezuelan Suelopetrol. Later on, it became associated with the Venezuelan State own oil company PDVSA in 2006 being 60% PDVSA and 40% Suelopetrol.
Cabimas doesn't have facilities for natural gas management, processing and transport, so while the gas produced has been flared for several decades, there is currently a project to build a cryogenic plant.
Markets are another income for Cabimas, with big stores founded and owned by immigrants from Mediterranean Europe, Middle East and Colombia. There is fishing activity, currently harassed by the growth of algae in the polluted Maracaibo lake, as well as by insecurity (piracy).
There are some factories like a plastic bag factory and others. There is a former industrial area which is no longer operational. In the countryside, especially in the Aristides Calvani parish, fruit trees are grown and cattle is raised. The Cattle Raisers Association of East Maracaibo Lake operates in Cabimas.
This municipality is also known for a large number of spare auto parts stores.
The Cabimas and Maracaibo areas are both widely known for international credit card fraud.
In Cabimas there are no public transport bus routes. Old cars and vans are the vehicles used for public transportation. Most vehicles are from the 70's and are typically not well-maintained. They are known locally as "carritos". From the terminal they go everywhere in Cabimas, which is an advantage over Maracaibo or Caracas, both of which lack a central transport station. Routes are identified with a name and a taxi cap of a particular color. Transport costs are artificially cheap since refined petroleum in Venezuela only costs the equivalent of US$0.05, and fares are around half a dollar, however, this is considered expensive by locals because the majority are poor.
Lines which arrive at the terminal are:
There are other few lines which don't come to the terminal but which operates in the city:
Some lines have very long routes and offer alternate routes with the same lines:
The port of La Salina, with its artificial island, is one of the main oil tanker docks in Maracaibos' lake, from where the crude is shipped to the United States of America, Europe or Asia. There are also some small private docks of oil service companies such as the Halliburton dock in Las Palmas. The Fishing dock is at the Boulevart Costanero, and is for small out-bound vessels. There are no commercial or tourist docks.
Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cabimas. Independencia Av with Miranda street. There is the image of Our Lady of the Rosary protector of Cabimas and Saint Benedict of Palermo as well. Our lady of the Rosary fair is each year in October. Saint Benedict day is celebrated each December 27 and January 6. The Cathedral is the site of the bishopric of Cabimas and is the oldest church in Cabimas.
Bolivar park. Independence Av in front of Our lady of the Rosary Cathedral. Its history begins in 1824 when is founded as the square of Our Lady of the Rosary Church (it became Cathedral in 1965). It is currently under mayor rebuilding. However, work has stopped for several months because of a lawsuit between the Zulia state government and the Historic Heritage Institute which is dependent on the national government. Both organizations are controlled by opposing political parties, so the suit is part of a political struggle.
Celebrated in October each year, with a beauty pageant contest, the winner is styled Queen of the Rosary Fair. There are:
Saint Benedict of Palermo is one of the few black African saints of the Catholic Church celebrated in Cabimas with two processions - one from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary through Andrés Bello Avenue to the Mission stadium and another from the Cathedral through Independencia street to La Rosa Parish church. These processions take place on December 27 and January 6 each year, with one procession on each date. Each year the dates and places are interchanged.
The procession is joined by dancing people, African drums (Chimbangeles) music, blue flags, maracas and horns. There are several professional Chimbangele drums bands and every one of them parades those days. 300.000 people join the procession which is the biggest in Zulia state. Saint Benedict is also celebrated in Tasajeras; Ojeda City, Puerto Escondido; Santa Rita Municipality; Bobures and Gibraltar (Zulia).
Industrial Technical School assigned to bring education for the industry to local youths, Pride of Cabimas, with the mission to bring new professionals to Venezuela.
This institution was created as an homage to Professor of Geography and History Armando Suarez Malave, founder of the Cabimas Educational Center private institution which covered the education from elementary school to highschool in infirmary, sciences, marketing, and teaching, later he founded the Combinado Cabimas Highschool which became this institution and currently offers titles of bachelor in kindergarten education, elementary school teaching, and sciences. Professor Armando Suarez M was born in Guarapiche, Anzoategui state, and came very young to Zulian lands forming a lot of young in this city. There is a small highschool called Mi Angel de la Guarda, at Ambrosio parish led by Father Angel Andueza not in very well conditions but warm and effective.
There aren't magazines or newspapers edited in Cabimas, There are offices of the newspapers Panorama, El Regional and La Verdad.
The Mayor is the supreme executive officer in the municipality, which governs from the city hall, with a board of councilors which forms the Cabimas city council, representing the parishes in which the municipality is divided.
Venezuela is divided in independent territorial entities called states like the United States of America. However, instead of counties, each state is divided into municipalities governed by a mayor. Each municipality has several parishes, which just include parts of the cities or countryside. The Cabimas municipality was created in 1990 with the first directly and democratically elected mayor and governor (governor of the Zulia state). The city of Cabimas includes some parishes of the municipality leaving Punta Gorda Parish for the town of the same name and Aristides Calvani for Cabimas countryside.