Argentina - Provincia de Catamarca

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Catamarca is a province of Argentina, located in the northwest of the country. The capital is San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, usually shortened to Catamarca. The province has a population of 334,568 as per the 2001 census [INDEC], and covers an area of 102,602 km². Its literacy rate is 95.5%. Neighbouring provinces are (clockwise, from the north): Salta, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, Córdoba, and La Rioja. To the west it borders Chile.


* 1 History
* 2 Economy
* 3 Political division
* 4 External links


Before the arrival of the Spanish conquest, most of today's Catamarca was inhabited by the Diaguitas indigenous people, including the fierce Calchaquí tribe. In 1558 Juan Pérez de Zurita founded San Juan de la Ribera de Londres, but since it was constantly under attack of the indigenous people it was not very populated, it was re-founded, changed its locating, and renamed several times. For its 6th foundation, on July 5, 1683, Fernando de Mendoza Mate de Luna founded the city of San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca.

When the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata was created in 1776, Catamarca obtained the title of Subintendencia under the Salta intendency. In 1821 the province claims its autonomy, and Nicolás Avellaneda y Tula (grandfather of Nicolás Avellaneda) is elected as the first governor of the province.

There are two versions of the origin of the name. The quichua version form words "cata" ("slope") and "marca" ("fortress") forming "Fortress on the slope", and the aymara version from words "Catán" ("small") and "marca" ("town") resulting in "Small town".


Mining and cattle are the main activities of the province. The province's livestock includes around 200,000 bovine heads, 100,000 ovine, and 150,000 goats, with an annual production of 7,000 tons of bovine meat, 5 tons of ovine, and 10 tons of porcine.

Mining production includes (approximate annual figures) 500 kg of gold, 5 tons of silver, 20,000 tons gypsum, and 750,000 tons limestone.

The agriculture of the province focuses on wood (walnut), vineyards, olive, citrics, cotton and tobacco.

Tourism is a surging economy in Catamarca, with more than 3.465 beds in hotels and other types of accommodation. Mountains and geological formation are the main attraction, with sights such as Antofagasta de la Sierra, Balcones del Valle, Cumbres Nevadas de Aconquija, and Paso de San Francisco. Cultural attractions include the city of Catamarca, Las Huellas del Inca archeological park, prehistoric petroglifos drawings, the Catamarqueña music, handcrafts and wines.




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