Lara State
Estado Lara
Anthem: Himno del Estado Lara
Location within Venezuela
Coordinates: 10°04′N 69°52′W / 10.07°N 69.86°W / 10.07; -69.86Coordinates: 10°04′N 69°52′W / 10.07°N 69.86°W / 10.07; -69.86
 • BodyLegislative Council
 • GovernorAdolfo Pereira Antique (2021–present)
 • Assembly delegation10
 • Total19,800 km2 (7,600 sq mi)
Area rank11th
 2.15% of Venezuela
 (2015 census)
 • Total2,019,211
 • Rank5th
 6,75% of Venezuela
Time zoneUTC−4 (VET)
ISO 3166 codeVE-K
Emblematic treeSemeruco (Malpighia glabra)

Lara State (Spanish: Estado Lara, IPA: [esˈtaðo ˈlaɾa]) is one of the 23 states (estados) into which Venezuela is divided. The state capital is Barquisimeto.

Lara State covers a total surface area of 19,800 km2 (7,600 sq mi) and, in 2015, had a census population of 2,019,211.


The state is named after a notable hero of Venezuela's independence, General Jacinto Lara.

St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Carora. Built in the early 1600s, the building was already active in 1658,
St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Carora. Built in the early 1600s, the building was already active in 1658,


During the colony and a large part of the independence period, the current territory of Lara belonged to the province of Caracas. In 1824 it was absorbed by the Province of Carabobo, created that year. In 1832, after the disintegration of the Great Colombia, the region was disintegrated; it was then constituted in the Province of Barquisimeto, which included the cantons of Quíbor, El Tocuyo, Carora and Barquisimeto; besides others that conform today the state of Yaracuy. In 1856, through the new law of territorial division, San Felipe and Yaritagua joined Nirgua to form the Province of Yaracuy. It is in these towns, mainly in El Tocuyo and Barquisimeto, where the first lights of Venezuelan Independence were documented, and from which the construction of Venezuela was undertaken with the towns, cities and roads that unite the great part of this territory. It is also worth noting that the cattle that were taken to the Llanos were the Tocuyo cattle.

In 1881, the creation of the Great State of the North of the West was agreed upon, to which the areas of Lara and Yaracuy were added. In August of that same year, the state was given the name Lara, in honor of the patriot General Jacinto Lara. In 1899, the Congress established the autonomy of the 20 states, as contemplated in the 1864 constitution, a division that was confirmed in 1909, through a constitutional reform, which has been maintained until today.

In 1899, the territory corresponding to the current municipalities Silva and Monseñor Iturriza of the state of Falcon were integrated into the latter state in exchange for what today is the municipality Urdaneta.


When the Europeans arrived in Venezuela, the region that is now Lara was inhabited by various ethnic groups such as the gayones, ayomanes and coyones. These peoples spoke, according to what anthropologists have been able to reconstruct from Spanish sources, languages of the Jirajarana linguistic family.6 The valleys of Quíbor, Barquisimeto and El Tocuyo had a relatively high population density and the peoples of the region practiced agriculture.

Spanish Conquest and Colonization

The Augsburg Welser expeditions were very destructive for the region. From 1529 to the 1940s the German conquerors carried out massacres of entire villages and tried to enslave the remaining indigenous people. Several of the first permanent populations of Europeans settled here because of the fertility of the region and the availability of indigenous labour. Thus, towns such as El Tocuyo, Quíbor, Cuara and Cubiro were founded.

General Jacinto Lara
General Jacinto Lara

The Welser administration was in permanent conflict with the interests of the Spaniards, who accused them of failing to carry out the task of colonization, among other things. In 1545, Juan de Carvajal, who lived in Coro, went with several families of colonists to the area of El Tocuyo and there he began to distribute the natives according to the encomienda system. El Tocuyo became one of the most important axes of the Venezuelan economy and also the center of operations of the Spanish conquest in the territory.

During the colony, the current Lara territory belonged to the province of Caracas. The region of El Tocuyo and Barquisimeto had convents that offered education to the inhabitants at a higher level than in other regions of Venezuela.

In the 17th century El Tocuyo developed a school of painting that was in contact with that of Quito. By the 18th century the area of Lara was an important producer of wheat, which was exported to Mexico.

Independent Venezuela

Lara in 1879-1909
Lara in 1879-1909

In 1824 it was absorbed by the Province of Carabobo, created that year. In 1832, after the disintegration of Gran Colombia, the region was disbanded; it was then constituted in the Province of Barquisimeto, which included the cantons of Quíbor, El Tocuyo, Carora and Barquisimeto; in addition to others that today make up the state of Yaracuy. In 1856, through the new law of territorial division, San Felipe and Yaritagua joined Nirgua to form the Province of Yaracuy. In 1881, it was agreed to create the Great State of the North of the West, to which the areas of Lara and Yaracuy were added. In August of that same year the name of Lara State was assigned in honor of the patriot General Jacinto Lara. In 1899,12 the Congress established the autonomy of the 20 states, as contemplated in the 1864 constitution, a division that was confirmed in 1909, through a constitutional reform, which has been maintained until today.

Until 1899 this state had access to the sea with the populations of Tucacas and Chichiriviche, currently belonging to the state of Falcon. In fact, the population of Tucacas was the main port of export of copper extracted from the mines of Aroa.


Cascada del Vino (Wine Waterfall), Lara State
Cascada del Vino (Wine Waterfall), Lara State


It is bordered on the north by Falcon State; on the south by Portuguesa and Trujillo States; on the east by Yaracuy State and on the west by Zulia State.

This state has 19,800 square kilometers (19,800 square miles) which represents 2.15% of the national territory, a territory almost equivalent to the size of Israel.


Typical dry and arid landscape of the state in the area of Cerro Saroche National Park. The waters of the state's rivers flow from three different sources: the Caribbean, the Atlantic through the Orinoco River and Lake Maracaibo.


Lara's topography consist of high plains and low, broken hills, with a relatively hot and dry climate. Lara depression is located at altitudes between 1,600 and 2,600 ft (487 to 792 m). Among the landscapes of moderate height, the pressures of Carora, Barquisimeto and Yaracuy stand out, while the Sierra de Aroa, the Nirgua Massif and the Andean buttress present more broken reliefs. The Barquisimeto high plateau is a privileged place for human settlement, commerce and communications, while the valley of the turbid river allows for intense agricultural use, in contrast to the aridity of the surrounding xerophytic vegetation. It is integrated by the last foothills of the Venezuelan Andes System, located in the south and southwest of the state respectively. The most pronounced altitude in the state is the Cendé Paramo at 3,585 m above sea level.

Humocaro Mountains, Lara State
Humocaro Mountains, Lara State

The Lara-Falcón formation is, from the orographic point of view, the transition between the Coastal and the Andean mountain ranges. It is a different system in which the Coriano system, the Barquisimeto-Carora depression and the Turbio-Yaracuy depression stand out. This depression is located in the northwest of the country, with an approximate extension of 52,000 square kilometers.


It is as varied as its relief and climate, although in almost all the territory xerophilous vegetation predominates, represented by cujíes, tunas, espinares and cardonales.

To the south the variety ranges from scrub and bushes to evergreen forests, with woods in mountainous areas. Different plant formations are identified as a result of the combination of the different environmental variables within a tropical space. To the west, in the Carora depression, the forest community is poor with a predominance of sparse and xerophytic thorn trees. In the eastern sector there are deciduous or semi-decduous primary forests. The cujíes and cardones dominate the central and northern areas, while towards the south and in the mountainous areas the vegetation cover goes from the bushes to the semi-humid forests. The fertility of some valleys allows the cultivation of sugar cane, sisal and fruits.


It presents from mountain areas with geological components of the secondary and tertiary era to extensive plains formed by large alluvial contributions of the Quaternary era, through valley landscapes, formed by sediments of Quaternary origin.

Vegetation-covered mountainous landscape in Lara State
Vegetation-covered mountainous landscape in Lara State


Two types of climate prevail in Lara state: Tropical, Mountain, and also dry and very dry, followed by wet mountain. Mountain humid climates are low and humid paramero just 4.8% of estadal area. The dry atmosphere is typical, since evaporation exceeds precipitation, reaching until 650 mm of annual average, with rain falling at different times according to geographycal location..

The average annual temperature fluctuates between 19 °C (66,2 °F) and 29 °C (84,2 °F), with an average of 24 °C (75,2 °F) in the capital, Barquisimeto.

The climate tends to vary between cold moor (in mountainous areas) and semi-arid tropical dry climate (specific in the area of the Lara's Depression, where the city of Carora and surrounding populations are located).

Type of climate

In general, the climate tends to vary between cold moorland (in the mountainous areas) and dry semi-arid tropical climate (mainly in the area of the Larense Depression where the city of Carora and surrounding towns are located).

The tropical steppe climate (semi-arid) is located specifically towards the northern part of the states of Zulia and Falcón, the Lara-Falcón depression, the central coastal zone, the coastal areas of the Unare depression and part of the state of Sucre, towards the Gulf of Cariaco, and a large part of the island of Margarita.


About 60% of the land in the west of Lara State is mountainous and presents soils of slow permeability, fine texture, reddish color and commonly acid reaction. They have a low organic matter content and low fertility.

To the southeast of Carora the soils are stony, without a well developed profile, variable permeability, acid reaction, fast runoff and strong erosion. In the area corresponding to the beaches the low permeability, the flooding, the predominant clayey texture and the appreciable content of salts limit their use. Erosion is present throughout the area and the hills near the beaches present a critical physiognomy. In the Barquisimeto Depression, the soils of the flat areas are very variable.

Barquisimeto, the state capital
Barquisimeto, the state capital

Municipalities and municipal seats

Municipality Seat
Andrés Eloy Blanco Sanare
Crespo Duaca
Iribarren Barquisimeto
Jiménez Quíbor
Morán El Tocuyo
Palavecino Cabudare
Simón Planas Sarare
Torres Carora
Urdaneta Siquisique
Ayacucho Park, Iribarren Municipality
Ayacucho Park, Iribarren Municipality


The waters of the rivers in the state are drained by three aspects:. The Caribbean sea, the Atlantic Ocean, through the Orinoco River and Maracaibo's Lake .

Main rivers: Amarillo, Auro, Aragua, Curarigua, Morere, Tocuyo, Turbio, Urama, Yacambú.

Lagoons: Laguna Amarilla, Laguna Cocoy. Wine waterfall in the Dinira National Park

El Blanquito Waterfall, Yacambu National Park
El Blanquito Waterfall, Yacambu National Park


Race and ethnicity

According to the 2011 Census, the racial composition of the population was: 1.774.867 [1]

Municipality Population
Andrés Eloy Blanco 47.245
Crespo 49.958
Iribarren 996.230
Jiménez 100.997
Morán 123.880
Palavecino 174.099
Simón Planas 35.802
Torres 185.275
Urdaneta 61.381


The cultivation of sugarcane has become one of the leading and first sugar states.[clarification needed] Also, products like coffee, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, corn, and banana . Its grape cultivation is associated with the wine industry. Has an important livestock of cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and poultry with good cheese and dairy industry. It also has important industrial areas and production capacity. It has great artisan wealth and potential tourism development, natural beauties, and folkloric and cultural events.

Cattle in La Peonia, Lara State
Cattle in La Peonia, Lara State

Among the most important industries in the state of Lara are the metalworking (Turbio's steel industry, SIDETUR; food processing, clothing apparel, textile printing and processing (based sisal fiber) sector. The most manufacturing are in the small and medium industry because, except for its sugar mills, Almost all its industrial park consists of companies of less than two hundred workers.

More than 50% of the population is concentrated in the capital (Barquisimeto) where the main commercial, financial and industrial activities are located. Despite the dynamism that has reached, places the entity as one of the most important recipients of migratory flows in the country, which has also reached urban centers such as: Carora, Quibor, El Tocuyo, Cubiro, Cabudare and Duaca; which base the economy in agricultural activities.

Barquisimeto's rise among others

View of the agricultural fields in Sanare, Lara State
View of the agricultural fields in Sanare, Lara State

Lara, located in the commercial corridors that link the West, the Andes, the center and the east of the country, is an important receiver and distributor of foodstuffs to other regions inside and outside Venezuela (export) through the wholesale market that commercializes a third of the fresh food consumed in the country, Mercabar.

Considered since 1950 to be one of theVenezuelan cities least dependent on oil, agriculture and trade are the main economic activities in the region that contributes: 22% of coffee, 26% of sugar cane, 90% of pineapple, 31% of grapes, 54% of onions, 12% of tomatoes, 54% of paprika, 29% of cabbage, 100% of sisal and 22% of potatoes.

However, today only around 25 thousand hectares are irrigated due to the lack of water, which could change radically with the completion of the Yacambú hydraulic project and the hydraulic works for the Urdaneta and Torres municipalities, infrastructures that would provide around 60 hectares of arable land in the central north of the state.

From the industrial point of view, in the state of Lara this type of activity is concentrated in the city of Barquisimeto, which has industrial zones of important magnitude and production capacity.

Important administrative and public service activities are concentrated in the state metropolis of Barquisimeto, together with all kinds of commerce, banking and financial entities, due towas because of its strategic location on the road network in the West of the country, and with its railway connection to Puerto Cabello and Acarigua. Equally important are theposition as the hub of transport and storage companies. In addition, there are metal-mechanic, agro-industrial and textile industrial establishments, both in the city and in its immediate surroundings, such as cement plants, sugar mills, milk processing plants and others.


Of special relevance are the agricultural activities, especially the cultivation of sugar cane in the valleys of the rivers Tocuyo, Turbio and various regions; of specialized horticulture of onions, peppers and tomatoes in Quibor; of viticulture in Carora and El Tocuyo; of sisal and coconutcommerce between the central and western parts of Venezuela. It also serves as the centre of a large agricultural area that produces sisal, cacao, cattle, sugarcane, and coffee, as well as subsistence crops, along with pineapple, in the dry areas. In the highlands, coffee, potatoes and vegetables thrive. Important are the cattle activities, as much of the modern milk cattle ranch, like of the traditional cattle ranch of goats. Various types of tourism are taking on increasing significance, with emphasis on the expansion of the rich Larense craftsmanship in places like Guadalupe and Tintorero.

Natural resources

The state has metallic and non-metallic minerals, especially red and white clays, silica sands, gravels, iron, mercury, pyrrhophyllites, and various types of limestone. Among the forest resources are cuji, jabillo, jobo, olive, vera and semeruco.

The rivers, reservoirs and thermal water sources such as the dams of Dos Cerritos, Yacambú, Atarigua, Arenales, and the San Miguel Volcano provide hydraulic and geothermal potential.

Caprine Farms, Lara
Caprine Farms, Lara


Flor de Venezuela (Flower of Venezuela), Lara State
Flor de Venezuela (Flower of Venezuela), Lara State

National Parks

In the territory of Lara State there are 5 national parks:

Historical sites

Barquisimeto Museum
Barquisimeto Museum


Metropolitan Cathedral of Barquisimeto
Metropolitan Cathedral of Barquisimeto

Main churches

Apart from the churches, the monument with the mantle of Mary stands out, which was built to honor the Virgin Mary in her dedication to the Divina Pastora.

St. Philip the Apostle Church, Barbacoas, Lara State
St. Philip the Apostle Church, Barbacoas, Lara State


Created by Decree of the Legislative Assembly, dated February 9, 1877.

The heraldic conformation of this emblem according to the ratification of the President of the State, Dr. Rafael González Pacheco, on May 8, 1905, is the following

"The Shield, divided into four quarters, two in gold and two in blue, in which the breeding is represented by two ox heads; a sickle and a bundle of ears representing agriculture. These quarters will be separated by a red bar, which will contain two cannons, and in the center, a fortress on a silver field. At the top, the Star of the West will shine and the whole shield will be encircled by a laurel wreath with a silver band.


The Culture of the region is very rich, it is a seat for multitudinous celebrations, such as The International Carnivals of Barquisimeto (Month of February–March), where you can see a great variety of floats, and artistic musical shows of recognized trajectory, The International Fair of Barquisimeto which begins on September 14 (anniversary of the founding of Barquisimeto), and culminates on September 25 each year, where you can see, among many things, various exhibitions and musical shows, and finally, a wide range of options to enjoy Christmas in Barquisimeto, where you can see various exhibitions, musical shows and many fireworks. It is customary to receive the New Year at La Flor de Venezuela, with family and friends. Around Barquisimeto and due to migration also in the city are practiced "Los Tamunangues" or devotional festivities to San Antonio de Padua, as payment of promises to favors received. The festivity has its origins in the Andes Larenses (Sanare-El Tocuyo) and is celebrated every June 13; but a Tamunangue can be held at any time of the year. Master Luis Felipe Ramón y Rivera explains that the name Tamunangue derives from the name given to the drum used in the interpretation of the characteristic songs of this dance, the tamunango.

The Divine Shepherdess is an important religious icon in Venezuela. She is the spiritual patron of the city and is one of the Marian invocations with many followers in the region. Every January 14 a multitudinous procession is held in which this image is carried from Santa Rosa to the Cathedral of Barquisimeto. More than two and a half million people have been counted,29 which would make it the second most important Marian procession in the world.


Juares Theater in Barquisimeto
Juares Theater in Barquisimeto

In the state of Lara, different and varied cultural manifestations of folklore are mixed, which clearly enrich the society of the central-western part of the country. These festivals are celebrated throughout the year in the different municipalities that make up our state. Likewise, some of these typical folkloric manifestations that you can know are


Lara State is home to several soccer, baseball, and basketball teams among other sports. In football highlights the Deportivo Lara based in the Metropolitan Stadium one of the most modern sports facilities in this region of the country, in baseball you can mention the Cardinals of Lara based in the historic Antonio Herrera Gutierrez Stadium, while in Basketball the most important team is Guaros de Lara based in the Domo Bolivariano.

Lara Metropolitan Stadium
Lara Metropolitan Stadium

Sports facilities

Politics and Government

As a state it is autonomous and equal in political terms to its peers, it organizes its administration and public powers through a Constitution of the Lara State, dictated by the Legislative Council.

See also: List of Venezuela state legislatures, List of Venezuela state constitutions, and List of Venezuela governors

Like the other 23 federal entities of Venezuela, the State maintains its own police force, which is supported and complemented by the National Police and the Venezuelan National Guard.

Executive Power

It is composed by the Governor of Lara State and a group of State Secretaries of his confidence who are officials of free appointment and removal. The Governor is elected by the people through direct, universal and secret vote for a period of four years and with the possibility of continuous re-election for new periods, being in charge of the state administration. The Governor must render an annual account of his actions before the regional parliament called the Legislative Council of Lara State.

The current governor is Adolfo Pereira Antique of the PSUV. He succeeded Carmen Meléndez, who elected for the 2017–2021 term.

Palace of Justice in Barquisimeto
Palace of Justice in Barquisimeto

Legislative Branch

The state legislature is the responsibility of the Legislative Council of Lara State, a unicameral parliament elected by the people through direct, universal and secret vote every four years. The legislature can be reelected for consecutive periods, under a system of proportional representation of the population of the state and its municipalities. Its headquarters are located in the Legislative Palace of Lara State, in the city of Barquisimeto.

In the elections held on December 16, 2012, to elect governor and deputies, the ruling party obtained the majority of seats

PSUV: 9 Legislators (7 nominal and 2 list vote) MUD: 6 Legislators (6 nominal and 1 ready vote) In this way the PSUV obtains a majority and controls the Lara Legislative Council.

See also


  1. ^ "Resultado Básico del XIV Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2011 (Mayo 2014)" (PDF). p. 29. Retrieved 8 September 2015.