Arauca is a municipality and capital city of the Arauca Department of Colombia. Its full name is Villa de Santa Barbara de Arauca, it is located at N 07 05 25 - W 70 45 42. The Municipality of Arauca has a total population of 39,518 (1993 census).
The Arauca region was explored by the German conquistador Jorge de la Espira, aka Georg von Speyer, in 1536. These early Spanish did not stay because they were on the quest for El Dorado. But later they were followed by Jesuits and land-grantees who founded the first settlements.
Arauca was founded on December 4, 1780, by Juan Isidro Daboin on the site of an indigenous hamlet of about ten families called Guahibo. Arauca was named after the Arauca River which now separates it from Venezuela, which river in turn was named for the indigenous people the Arauca. The area is flat and subject to frequent flooding from the river.
At one point it was the capital of the New Granada Province of Casanare which was much larger than the current Department of Casanare.
In addition, the Villa de Santa Barbara de Arauca, has been:
Capital of the Republic, under the revolutionary government, constituted July 16, 1816;
Capital of the Police District (Comisaria especial) since 1911;
Capital of the Province (Intendencia Nacional) of Arauca, 19551991;
Oil capital of Colombia since1986;
Capital of the Department of Arauca since 1991.
Since its founding, Araucas primary business has been the raising of cattle, and this is still true. But increasingly, since 1984 it is the exploitation of nearby petroleum (oil sands) that has provided the bulk of municipal income in recent years. The building of the bridge, Puente Jose Antonio Paez, connecting it with Venezuela stimulated the economy, as did completion of the highway to Bogota, known as The Route of the Liberators (La Ruta de los Libertadores). Arauca is now on the main surface route between Caracas and Bogota.
Santiago Perez Airport
Official website of the Arauca municipality
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Arauca, Arauca