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The City of San Fernando is one of the two cities which exist in the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and constitutes 1,844.7 hectares of land. It is situated in the southwestern area of the island of Trinidad; 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 population was estimated to be 62,000 as of 2002, making it the largest city and second largest municipality in the country. 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.
The Amerindians called present day San Fernando by the name 'Anaparima'. Translation of 'Anaparima' could mean either 'Single Hill' or 'Without Water'. The former is taken to be the translation in context, since San Fernando Hill exists in the center of the city.
The then town of San Fernando was christened San Fernando de Naparima by Governor Don Jose Maria Chacon in 1784, after recovering approval from the King of Spain. This was a gesture of respect to the infant son of the king. With the passage of time, 'de Naparima' has been dropped.
Following the 1983 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 in the southern districts and the development of 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 Burgess of the town resulted in numerous reports by geologists and hydrologists throughout the later nineteenth and early twentieth century, but the problem was not solved until the Navet Dam was constructed in the 1930s.
The nearby oil refinery at Pointe-a-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 the suburbs of San Fernando, especially Marabella (to the south) and Gasparillo (to the east) of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. In 1991 the boundaries of the city were extended, bringing the refinery (the largest in the Caribbean) immediatley adjacent to the City's northern boundary.
The extended City now includes the suburbs of Marabella, Bel Air, Gulf View and Cocoyea.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago".
This city is also known as: San Fernando.