Lake Maracaibo, a giant lake in the form of a teardrop suspended from the Gulf of Venezuela in the northwest of the country, was home to several native communities built on stilts. The Pueblo Viejo River, formerly called the Paraute, enters the lake at the town of Lagunillas de Agua. On October 28, 1651, an Indian sitting in a stilt house there recovered a piece of wood that kept floating in on the water. It was found to bear an image which Catholics identified as the Virgin of the Rosary. Enshrined in the church, it became an object of pilgrimage and celebration every year on October 28. Despite its watery location, Lagunillas has repeatedly burned. The image was saved and resides in the church of the Morochas district.
Information from Gobernación del Estado Zulia, www.gobernaciondelzulia.gov.ve