Playa Paraguachí, El Tirano

In the Guaquerí language the island of Margarita was known as Paraguachoa: Abundance of fish. Paraguachí signifies Abundance of lobster.

The village Paraguachí lies in one of the freshest and most fertile valleys of the island. In the village square the trees create a shaded area where the 16th century church of San José can be seen. However, of the original structure only the sacrosant remains.

The 2lst of July 1561 saw the arrival at the Port of Paraguachí a spanish conquistador who would be remembered for bis cruelty and bloodthirstiness: Lope de Aguirre. In his 40 days stay in the island he wiped out as many people as he could. Included in the massacre was the then governor Juan Sarmiento de Villandrando and many of bis followers. Even members of bis own crew were not spared his wrath. Leaving the island he left behind a trail of death and destruction. Months later he was caught by García de Pacides and bis final act before surrendering was to stab bis own daugther Elvira to death. Since then the port of Paraguachí (also called Fermín Port) has been called "EL TIRANO" (The Tyrant). Today as yesterday, El Tirano is a fishing village where it is possible to take boat rides to the islands of Los Frailes (the Friars lslands) about 45 minutes away.

In the Town Hall of Paraguachí can be found a statue of El Tirano made in Genoa, Italy. It came to the island in 1956 and was shown in the Nueva Cadíz museum in La Asunción. In 1994 it was moved to its present site.

Page created: 02/04/2000

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Pictures/Text by Gisela Sanchez Tinoco