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near San Fernando, San Fernando (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago)
The City of San Fernando has a population of 55,419 according to the 2000 census. It is the second largest municipality after Chaguanas. It occupies 18 km² and is located in the southwestern part of the island of Trinidad. It is bounded to the north by the Guaracara River, the south by the Oropouche River, the east by the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway, and the west by the Gulf of Paria. The former Borough of San Fernando was elevated to the status of a city on November 18, 1988. The motto of San Fernando is: "Sanitas Fortis" - In a Healthy Environment We Will Find Strength. Many local Trinidadians refer to the city with the shortened name "Sando." San Fernando is called Trinidad's "industrial capital" because of its proximity to the Pointe-a-Pierre oil refinery and many other petrochemical, LNG, iron and steel and aluminum smelters in places such as Point Lisas, Point Fortin, and La Brea. La Brea is also home to the world famous pitch lake, the chief tourist attraction in the San Fernando area, and has offshore oil and gas platform fabrication facilities, as well as a deep water harbour.
The Amerindians called the area Anaparima, which has been translated as either "single hill" or "without water". A single hill, the San Fernando Hill, rises from the centre of the city. A town named San Fernando de Naparima was established by Spanish Governor Don José Maria Chacon in 1784, in honour of the heir to the Spanish Crown. With time, the "de Naparima" was dropped.
Following the 1783 Cedula of Population, many sugar plantations were established in the Naparima Plains surrounding San Fernando. The town grew as this part of the country came to dominate sugar production. This growth continued throughout the nineteenth century as consolidation in the sugar industry led to the construction of what was then the largest sugar refinery in the world, the Usine, Ste. Madeline factory a few miles east of the town. The development of cacao cultivation and the petroleum industry helped San Fernando grow since the town served as the gateway to these areas.
The growth of the town placed severe strains on the supply of water, especially during the dry season. Complaints by the burgesses of the town resulted in numerous reports by geologists and hydrologists throughout the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but the problem was not solved until the Navet Dam was constructed in the 1930s.
The nearby oil refinery at Pointe-à-Pierre played an important role in San Fernando's development between World War II and the 1980s. The refinery was constructed by Trinidad Leaseholds Limited during World War II, and constituted one of the largest contributions to the war effort by a private company. The "oil boom" of the 1970s and '80s led to the growth of the suburbs of San Fernando, especially Marabella (to the north) and Gasparillo (to the east) of the Pointe-à-Pierre refinery. In 1991 the boundaries of the city were extended, bringing the refinery (the largest in the Caribbean) immediately adjacent to the City's northern boundary. The extended City now includes the suburbs of Marabella, Bel Air, Gulf View and Cocoyea...
Icacos is a tiny village on the extreme southern peninsula of Trinidad. The village is largely sustained by the fishing industry. The drive is quite picturesque. Along the beach you'll have quite a lot of very good opportunities for photography of the nearby Venezuelan coastline...