🇻🇪 Mérida, officially known as Santiago de los Caballeros de Mérida, is the capital of the municipality of Libertador and the state of Mérida, and is one of the main cities of the Venezuelan Andes. It was founded in 1558 by Captain Juan Rodríguez Suárez, forming part of Nueva Granada, but later became part of the Captaincy General of Venezuela and played an active role in the War of Independence.
It is home to the University of Los Andes and the Archdiocese of Mérida. It also has the highest and longest cable car in the world. It is the largest student and tourist centre of western Venezuela. The mass transit system (Trolebús Mérida) is available as a means of tourist transport.
This city sits on a plateau nestled in the valley of the Chama River, which runs from end to end. The town of Mérida is located at an altitude of 1,600 metres (5,200 feet). As background on the horizon rises the country's highest summit: the Pico Bolívar with an altitude of 4,981 metres (16,342 feet).
Economy The city of Mérida has one of the lowest poverty indexes in Venezuela. According to the 2001 census, 18.09% of the population lives in poverty; this figure is beaten only by San Cristóbal (17.05%) and the municipalities of Chacao (8.69%), Baruta (11.22%) and San Antonio de Los Altos (6.13%) in the state of Miranda.
The city's economy has been evolving and transforming since the beginning of the 20th century. Traditionally, agriculture formed the most significant part of economic activity in Mérida, which was the distribution centre for agricultural goods in the state. Furthermore, large sugar cane haciendas were located nearby; their income led to the construction of a central sugar refinery in which all of Mérida's sugar cane was processed. This refinery was eventually abandoned and has now been converted into a museum. With the construction of Mérida Cable Car, the trans-Andes highway, and the city's airport, the city's economy evolved, with the tertiary services sector—especially tourism—displacing the primary agricultural sector.
Tourism, dubbed the "green industry", is the principal source of income in the city, and one of the most flourishing industries. Touristic activity benefits from the potential offered by the Andes mountains surrounding the city, and from the city's own parks, museums, and plazas, among other features. In addition, in recent years, owing to the creation of the only free cultural, scientific, and technological zone in the country, the city has begun to develop in the field of technology, thanks also to the support of the university in this matter. The city of Mérida now stands out at the national level for its low cost of living and its high (relative to cost of living) per capita income of $4,381, ninth among Venezuelan cities. The service sector contributes a large percentage of the state's income. In Mérida 82,537 people are economically active, of whom 6.67% are unemployed.
Mérida has a population of over 204,879 people. Mérida also forms the centre of the wider Mérida State which has a population of over 750,000 people.
To set up a UBI Lab for Mérida see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork
Twin Towns - Sister Cities Mérida has links with:🇲🇽 Mérida, Mexico