Barquisimeto is a city with strong agroindustrial roots, surrounded by a sugar cane valley and near to one of the largest vegetable production regions in Venezuela: Quibor and Sanare.
First founded by Don Juan de Villegas in 1552 and named Nueva de Varequesemeto Segovia, it was later moved to several places until 1563 when the town finally settled in its present location. Barquisimeto is today a modern town, fourth most populated in the country; highly important for its situation in the middle of the west-central axis of communications, industries and agriculture of Venezuela.
Barquisimeto is a very successful industrial and commercial centre. It has one of the most biggest markets in Latin America called Mercabar, and various shopping malls like Las Trinitarias and Babilon.
Two of the many points of interest in Barquisimeto is an obelisk called El Obelisco, which was raised to commemorate Barquisimeto's 400th birthday; and the cathedral, which is inside an oddly shaped design. Barquisimeto's downtown is a place for bargain hunters as it is cheaper than shopping malls, but it is also a hotspot for purse snatching. The 20th Street (Calle 20 o La 20) in the downtown area is the location of the unofficial Chinatown, a place with shops mainly owned by Chinese people.
Once a year in January, the Divina Pastora (the Divine Shepherd), which is a big moveable statue of the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus and sheep, is held by 6 to 10 men and carried to the cathedral from the church of the town of Santa Elena. Many people join the congregation and walk the entire course, some even barefoot or holding a wooden cross.
Population: 815.000List of wine-producing regions