Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Vicariate Apostolic of Goajira

From volume 6 of the work.



Goajira is the most northern portion of South America is a peninsula running into the Caribbean Sea. It was the subject of a dispute between Venezuela and Colombia in 1891, and on arbitration was awarded to the latter and joined to the State of Magdalena. The area of the peninsula is about 5500 square miles. The scenery of Goajira is very picturesque; the temperature in the plains is very high, but temperate in the mountains. There is a good supply of cabinet wood in the country, but not much trade. The inhabitants, who nurnber 80,000 (50,000 Catholics) are mostly of Indian or mixed race. They are tall and well rnade. Formerly they were very intractable, but the Capuchins, who are in charge of the Catholic missions, have had a great influence over them, and large numbers have been converted. The language spoken is an Indian dialect of the Arawak-Maypure group (see ARAWAKS). The chief towns are Paraguaipoa, Calabacito, Maricha, Marocaso, and Soldado. Goajira was erected by Pope Pius X, 17 January 1905, into a vicariate Apostolic, dependent on the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. Mgr Attanasio Maria Vincenzo Soler-Royo, O.F.M. Cap. was appointed to the vicariate, as titular Bishop of Citharizum 18 April, 1907. At the present time there are 16 Capuchin priests, 10 lay-brothers, 7 secular priests, 26 religious of other congregations, 5 nuns, 9 residences, 20 churches and chapels, 7 schools (300 children), 1 college (50 students) in Goajira.

Annuaire Pontifical, 1909.

A. A. MacErlean.