Miranda is a state (of the 23 existing ones), located in the Central Coastal area of Venezuela. It is part of the so-called Capital Region, along with the Capital District and Vargas State. It borders to Vargas state on the north, Guarico state on the south, the Caribbean Sea on the East and Aragua state, and the Capital District, on the West. It owes its name to the independence hero, the General and Admiral Francisco de Miranda, the first universal Venezuelan who fought for the freedom of Venezuela and part of the Americas.
It is the second most populated state in Venezuela, after Zulia, with approximately 2,857,943 people, according to the 2007 census. Miranda is an important center of socio-political, economic, cultural and commercial activities. The state has a state governor’s office, 21 municipal mayors’ offices and a mayor’s office, which governs only four of the state’s municipalities, which are those belonging to the metropolitan agglomeration of the city of Caracas -Baruta, Chacao, El Hatillo and Sucre-, a sector often referred to as Eastern Caracas. The state capital is Los Teques, which is its main city and seat of the state government.
Other important towns are located in the area east of Caracas, which belongs to the State of Miranda; these towns are Petare, Baruta, Chacao, Mariche, Charallave, Cúa, Higuerote, Río Chico, Guatire and Guarenas. Miranda’s economy is based on industry, commerce, agriculture and tourism.
The predominant language is Spanish, less than 1% of the Mirandinos speak other languages, such as foreign or indigenous languages. In terms of belief, around more than 90% of people are Catholics, the rest are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, among others, or groups of non-believers such as atheists.
Miranda is the second most populated state in Venezuela, after Zulia State, since a large part of Caracas is located in Miranda; in addition, Miranda State is the most important state after Zulia in the Venezuelan economy.
This state covers 7,950 km², it is one of the smallest states, but one of the most populated. Miranda contains great natural and cultural monuments, such as several churches.
In transportation, Miranda State has a railroad line from Caracas to the middle Tuy (Cúa-Caracas), a train that is expected to be soon be expanded.
Los Teques, the capital of Miranda, inaugurated in 2006 its own subway: Metro de Los Teques, which has a next line planned for 2010. This metro is connected to Caracas through line 2, Las Adjuntas, of the Caracas Metro.
In addition, the State of Miranda has Line 1 of the Caracas Metro, from Chacaíto to Palo Verde in Petare and it is expected to have several lines in the Municipality of Baruta.
The highways have recently begun to be re-paved, although it has the main access roads in Caracas, such as the Francisco Fajardo, Prados del Este and Cota Mil. It has several highways that connect the whole of Miranda and the surrounding states with all of Venezuela.
Miranda has several regional television channels, in addition to the Venezuelan state channel, Venezolana de Televisión, but Miranda also broadcasts other channels from other states or national channels such as Venevisión. Even though it also has its own radio stations at regional level, such as 92.9 FM and another at national level La Mega 107.3 FM, it also has its own regional and national newspapers such as El Nacional and Avance de Los Teques and La Región which covers the Alto Mirandinos, the metropolitan area, Guarenas and Guatire.
The culture is very religious, one of the most catholic and well known traditions of Miranda is the Diablos Danzantes de Yare. In Miranda State there are several international industries that are distributed from there to all Venezuela.
- The other towns of the State: Baruta, Caucagua, Cúa, Charallave, Guarenas, Guatire, Higuerote, Ocumare del Tuy, Petare, Río Chico, Santa Teresa, Santa Lucía and San Francisco de Yare.
- Percentage of State Territory: 0,87%. It is the third state with the largest surface area in the country.
- Population: 2,987,968 inhabitants (2nd most populated)
- Density: 359.5 inhab/km².
The climate of the State of Miranda is very warm in the low areas with temperatures ranging between 20 °C and 42 °C with very high humidity in the coastal region of Barlovento. In the Altomirandina Region temperatures vary slightly throughout the year, in the dry season (December-March) the temperature varies between 10 °C and 23 °C, at the beginning of the wet season (April, May) high temperatures of up to 33 °C can be registered, the rest of the year it varies between 16 °C and 25 °C.
The economic development of the state is based on the excellence of its soils, which has allowed for a boom in agriculture. The region of the Tuy Valleys is characterized for being a producer of cocoa, sugar cane, corn, among other crops. Barlovento also has a great fertility of its lands, especially cocoa and a great variety of fruits and vegetables. Likewise, Guatire and Guarenas have good land for cultivation, with coffee being one of the main products of the area.
Among other economic activities is the industrial sector, especially manufacturing, which together with the Federal District is the first urban manufacturing complex in the country.
The tertiary sector is of great importance: financial, commercial and service activities are concentrated in the Miranda area. During the last two decades the tourist activity has grown with the installation of a great hotel infrastructure in the coast of the Barloventeño.
Cereal crops are grown in the fertile valleys of the Tuy, while the microclimates are used for horticultural and fruit activities, whose products are processed in agroindustries.
In suburban areas, poultry and pig farming are practiced, especially by Portuguese, Spanish and Italian immigrants.
Coffee production has decreased; however, the expansion of sugar cane and cotton crops continues in the Tuy Valley. Since colonial times there have been cocoa plantations in Barlovento combined with cassava, yams, beans and plantains.
The industrialization process exerted an important economic impact, favored by its proximity to the city of Caracas, mainly in the cities of Petare, Guarenas and Guatire and in the valley of Tuy, where the manufacturing centers of the metal-mechanical, chemical and food sectors were established. This fact led to a great urban boom, which caused a decrease in the portion of agricultural land.
- Agricultural: Cocoa, fruits, vegetables, coconut, cassava, cereals, flowers.
- Livestock: Poultry, cattle and swine.
- Fishing: Tuna, carite, lebranche, mullet and snook (marimos). Shrimp and crab (crustaceans). Squid, chipichipi, guacuco, oyster and octopus (mollusks).
- Industrial products: Metal-mechanical, chemical and food products, alcoholic and carbonated beverages, graphic arts, textiles, footwear.
The state is well known for its Barlovento coasts, a safe stop during vacation periods, the Diablos de Yare and the Tacarigua Lagoon; these are only some of the tourist attractions of this state and are visited annually by thousands of seasonal visitors.
There is also the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Betania. It has large shopping centers for the enjoyment of the population, in the high Mirandinos is Ciudad Comercial La Cascada, of large dimensions that has food fairs, cinemas, large stores, and all kinds of services and bank agencies.
Additionally, the professional center La Cascada is the headquarters of the SENIAT. Also, close to Los Teques, there is the town of San Pedro de Los Altos, an agricultural town, where vegetables and large extensions of flowers are grown, and there are several mineral water bottling plants and the Minalba bottling plant where pure spring water is bottled.
On February 14, 2010, Turismo Miranda organized for the first time in the country the first collective beach wedding. The Chirimena Beach, in La Piedra para Dormir, witnessed the union of 45 Venezuelan couples, and every February 14 these collective marriages are expected to be repeated on a beach in Miranda.