El Tocuyo

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El Tocuyo
Shire Town
El Tocuyo Cathedral (Temple of La Concepcion)
El Tocuyo Cathedral (Temple of La Concepcion)
Flag of El Tocuyo
Flag
Official seal of El Tocuyo
Seal
El Tocuyo is located in Venezuela
El Tocuyo
El Tocuyo
Location in Venezuela
Coordinates: 9°46′56″N 69°47′35″W / 9.78222°N 69.79306°W / 9.78222; -69.79306
Country  Venezuela
State Lara
Municipality Morán Municipality
Demonym Tocuyano
Founded 7 December 1545
Area
 • Total 2,231 km2 (861 sq mi)
Elevation 622 m (2,041 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 41,327
postal code 3018
Area code(s) 0253

El Tocuyo is a fertile valley and city in west-central Venezuela at 622 m (2,041 ft) elevation. It is located in south-central Lara State about 60 km southwest of Barquisimeto. The town of El Tocuyo was founded by Juan de Carvajal in 1545 on the banks of the Tocuyo River and it was the administrative capital of Venezuela Province from 1546 to 1548. Its original name was Nuestra Señora de la Pura y Limpia Concepción del Tocuyo. El Tocuyo is now just the municipal seat of Morán. Its population is 41,327 (2001).

The surrounding area has good soil and an ideal climate for agriculture, dry and warm with plenty of water available from the Tocuyo River. The area has been occupied since prehistoric times. When the Spanish arrived they found the Gayones Indians, who inhabited this valley, sowing corn and other agricultural products as cotton and yucca. After the Spanish came, sugar cane was, for centuries, the biggest crop; but since 1980 vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, chiles, and potatoes are taking its place.

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