Some of the photographs on this Web page are photos from EBV alumni or “ex-Maracuchos” who recognize that there are countless photo treasures out there from those of us who were fortunate enough to have lived in Maracaibo during those wonderful years, and who have very generously volunteered to share some of those photos with all of us. Others are photos I've managed to find over time.

If you have any photographs that you'd like to share with us from your years in Maracaibo, please E-Mail me and let me know. Perhaps you have photos from the years you were there, or maybe you have photos of the EBV campus since 1995. Or how about some recent photos of yourself so that others can see you today? All of them are important, and it's very easy to do! You don't need a lot of photos - just a few, or even one photograph, will do. Your photos don't have to be scanned if you don't have a scanner as I'd be happy to scan them for you, returning them to you promptly. Many of us would absolutely love to see some of your vintage or recent photos and share the good memories with you. Full credit will be given to you for any photos that you submit, as well as an E-Mail link to you if you'd like one.

The important thing is for you to please take a moment to contact me so that we can get them set up on this page! Please don't be apathetic. Take a moment to share your memories with the rest of us! I know that all of you have at least some photos to share, so.....c'mon, what are you waiting for??

 
 

This interesting & rather unique 1937 map from GULF OIL COMPANY shows oil concession breakdowns in Venezuela between the different oil companies, lower right of the image. It's the only map I've ever seen of concession locations in Venezuela at any date.

It also shows shipping routes of how the oil was distributed throughout the American ports it was shipped to, the GULF OIL distribution pipeline in the U.S. as well as the pipelines of other companies labeled as “TRUNK PIPELINES IN COMPETITION WITH GULF”. The strength of GULF OIL sales through the states shown on this map is denoted by color-coding. And it also gives the value of the GULF pipeline system in 1937 as $84,000,000.

The more one examines the details of this map, the more one finds. I would guess that this was most probably a confidential map that was internal only to GULF OIL employees when it was originally produced in 1937.

 

 

 

 
 

I've had these three photos on my hard drive for quite some time without posting them, mainly because I have no information on them other than their location, and their quality is rather poor. But they're part of the history that this site is trying to preserve, so I'm posting them now without any other accurate information on them.

The first image is a Creole Petroleum photo which I believe shows a part of the Creole Camp. I have no other information as to what year it may have been taken.

The second two images were taken of the Mene Grande Camp sometime in the 1930's judging from the autos showing in both shots. Other than that, I have no other information on these photographs.

(UPDATE: Doug Becker has sent some further information on these images, and his comments appear below.)

 
”I believe (this image) was taken from the roof of the main (Creole) office building. Judging from the angle, I would say that the photo was taken before the third floor was added. Also, it appears that the shot was taken from the northernmost part of the roof, looking toward the club, which I don't see. About all I can guess as to date is pre-1940.” - D. Becker

“Copies of the two pictures (below) that you posted of Mene Grande were sent to me by Skid Frothingham back in January 2003. The photos were labeled 'Mene Grande 36', which I guess means that the photos were taken in 1936. Skid lived in Mene Grande from 1938-1940, if my notes are correct, but his parents could have been there sooner.” - D. Becker
 

 

 

 
 
Familiar to so many over the years, this photo of one of the Maracaibo ferries that became redundant once the Urdaneta Bridge was built was contributed by Pedro López of the Universidad de Zulia's Architecture & Design Faculty in his fabulous “Adivine el lugar” series of E-Mails.
 

 

 

 
 
Both of these two great photos were donated to this site quite some time ago by Steve Sleightholm. For unknown reasons, they were never posted and I just re-discovered them on one of my hard drives. Both shots were taken by Steve's father, William Sleightholm, in the late 1920's.
 
“Tankers loading at La Salina Terminal - 1929”
“Tankers loading oil at Lagunillas Terminalo - La Salina of London on right.”

 

 

 
 
This aerial view, taken in 1931, is believed to show the Santa Rosa area. It's interesting to note the oil pollution coming from some of the wells during a period in time when the issue wasn't considered to be a problem as it is today.
 

 

 

 
 
An old postcard of the Hotel Scandia taken during the 1930's (?).
 

 

 

 
 
I can't quite recall where I obtained this fascinating photo of two U.S. Army Air Force B-17 bombers visiting Maracaibo sometime in the 1940's.
 

 

 

 
 
This is an interesting image of an old AVENSA ticket jacket. Both aircraft appear to be Curtis C-46s, which would place the date of this ticket jacket sometime in the late 1940's, perhaps the early 1950's.
 

 

 

 
 
 

Steve Sleightholm advises that this photo was taken from the deck of the Santa Rosa while it was docked in Aruba, on its way to Maracaibo from New York, sometime, he guesses, in the late '50's.

He states, “The picture is of smugglers loading cases of American cigarettes into the hold of a Venezuelan fishing boat. My parents were smokers of smuggled Marboros which, if you enlarge the picture, you can make out part of the word on one of the cases. Dad used to have smuggled cigarettes delivered to our house in Tia Juana. Somewhere I have a picture of the man taking cartons of cigarettes out of the trunk of his car parked out in front of our house in Tia Juana.”

 
 
 
 
 
 

This is another interesting item that Steve Sleightholm found somewhere on the Internet. It's a short slideshow of old drink bottles of products that could be found in Venezuela during earlier years. Seeing it brought back many memories of drinks I used to consume all the time. Strangely missing, though, is a bottle of Green Spot as well as a bottle of Leche Carabobo.

Originally a Powerpoint presentation, I converted it into a FLASH slideshow to make it easier to display.

 




 

 
 
This was the Hotel del Lago luggage sticker that was being used during the years I lived in Maracaibo, from 1962-1968.

Years ago, I used to have quite a collection of them after I snitched a whole sealed pack of them off one of the hotel maid carts. Don't know whatever happened to them - they just disappeared over the years. This is not one of them as I found this particular example online.
 


 

 

 

 

These are three great, and in many ways classic, photographs contributed by Steve Sleightholm.

The first was taken by his father. Steve advises that it was taken in the late 1920's or very early 1930's.

Steve writes, “While sorting through many photos that my father took while living and working in Venezuela, I came across this one of the woman walking home along a dirt road taking water home in a bucket on her head. I know this picture isn't unusual in many of the less developed countries of the 3rd world. It was taken in the late 20's or very early 30's before my dad was married.

“For me, the picture is pretty much representative of what I knew the back country to be like in Venezuela as late as 1963 when our family returned to the US. I suppose that the picture is still representative of much of the country at this late date and that is a real shame for the wealth the country has had which has not made its way to the people.


This second phtograph shows the city of Mérida that Steve's grandfather picked up on an excursion he took looping up to Mérida then over to Trujillo and back to Lagunillas. He took the trip shortly after he joined Lago Petroleum Corp. at the Lagunillas facilities. He believes it dates back to about 1927.
 
 

Acquired during the same trip in 1927, this view show the town of San Rafael de Mucuchies, “the highest and coldest town in Venezuela.”

 

 

 

 
 
When I first saw this poster, it actually made me smile. It's so evocative of those better times in Venezuela of the past, when the Macuto Sheraton was a thriving & popular hotel (before the earthquake and, later, the Vargas floods & landslides of 1999), a time when all tourists were welcome and people felt safe, and VIASA was still the popular Venezuelan national air carrier. I couldn't help but really like this poster from the moment I first saw it.

This image was provided to me through the generous donation of Carolyn Lowrey. Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing the 'ray of sunshine' that this image brings to the website.
 


 

 

 
 
This is an old AVENSA menu cover that I found showing a Convair 340 flying over New Orleans. It's from the menu of a flight between Caracas and Miami, when Convairs were still used by the airline on international flights.
 


 

 

 
 
Steve Sleightholm has always been a wealth of historic photos due to the many years his family lived in Venezuela.

These photos show the old, original Lago Petroleum Lagunillas club house, swimming pool, & outdoor movie screen at the volleyball court. Steve relates that, referring to the bottom right photo, “...The bowling alley is the original one that was an all-weather affair. The pictue shows my father and my brother, Bill at about 1 year of age so that puts it about 1941. The other pictures were probably taken in the late '20s.”


 
Original Lagunillas Pool
Original Lagunillas club pool.
 
 
Original Lagunillas Club House
Original Lagunillas clubhouse.
 
 
Lagunillas Club Movie Screen
Movie screen at the volleyball court.
 
 
The Sleightholms at the Lagunillas Pool
 
Bill & Dad Sleightholm, 1941

 

 

 

 
 
If you were there at the time, who could ever forget? Tanker “Esso Maracaibo” and wrecked bridge. At 11:45 P.M. on the 6th of April 1964, the supertanker “Esso Maracaibo”, loaded with 236,000 barrels of crude oil, hit pier # 31 of the 2-year-old General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge that connects Maracaibo with much of the rest of Venezuela.
 
ESSO Maracaibo - 1964

 

 

 

 
 
This is a 1942 ESSO map of Caracas. Contributed by Peter Tveskov (thanks, Peter!), it's quite amazing to see how small the footprint of the city was back then as compared to today. The enlargement is entertaining to go over in detail. Valle Arriba Golf Club almost appears to be out in the sticks.
 

 

 

 

 

These vintage Venezuelan cigarette packs are colorful & interesting samples of product art from their era. They were generously contributed by Houston Floyd, forwarded on to me by Steve Sleightholm.

Houston relates that he's preserved them all these years because back in the 1940's, when his father would write to his mother, the envelope would include a note he had written to Houston on the white inner linings of these opened cigarette packs.

Much like the creative artwork found on vintage cigar boxes, these images are certainly worthy of collection even if it weren't for the personalized messages Houston received from his father on them so many years ago! I don't believe any of these brands were still around in the 1960's.

 
 
 

 

 

 

 
One of first flying boats that Pan American had in its fleet was the Sikorsky S-38. This amphibious aircraft started a long line of successful flying boat purchases and history for the company, including the famous “China Clipper”, that lasted until the end of the Second World War.
 
As it turns out, CREOLE also owned at least one Sikorsky S-38. It's shown here in an interesting ad taken from “YACHTING” magazine dated April, 1930. With the difficult terrain of Venezuela, the long distances involved in CREOLE operations, & the lack of transportation infrastructure in the country, the S-38 proved to be, according to this Sikorsky ad, the perfect solution for CREOLE's transportation difficulties within the country.
 
(Click on the image below for a full-sized enlargment of the ad.)
 

 

 

 

 
How many of you remember Punto Camacho (Shell Beach)? It was a wonderful place to swim in the Lake before Lake Maracaibo became so polluted. Used by people & expats living on both sides of the Lake, it was a sailing haven as well, with many small Sunfish and Pampas-class sailboats in use along the beach during any weekend.
 
My good friend Luis Truneanu & I used to camp there occasionally on weekends, and it was always a wonderful time. The water would get cooler after the sun set and swimming became really refreshing. An old refurbished barge was used as the clubhouse. The old barge was two-stories, and we used to jump off the 2nd story into the water when nobody was around to stop us in the evening. At night, there was always plenty of driftwood with which to build a good campfire, and we'd sleep in hammocks tied between palm trees. We never failed to have the entire beach to ourselves all night no matter how many times we camped there.
 
Now I wish I'd taken more photos of Punto Camacho, but this is the only one that survives with me today. I'd welcome any other photos of this great beach for posting here. It was probably the best beach on Lake Maracaibo itself.
 

 

 

 
These photos were sent to me by Joe Roberts. They were sent to him by Neill Arnhart/Henson, and were taken at Neill's 16th birthday in 1974 at the Club Náutico.
 
Joe Roberts dancing with Manuela Rhode.
Joe Roberts, Manuela Rhode, unidentified, & Neill's little sister Carol Arnhart/Henson.
Neill Arnhart/Henson with his stepfather Dave Henson, Mother Nancy Henson, & Danny Cook.
Neill Arnhart/Henson with two cuties.
 
 

 

 
I just happened to stumble upon these two fairly recent photos of the Club Los Andes taken in March 2005. I was really thrilled to see the old clubhouse boat pretty much exactly as I remembered it when I last saw it 38 years ago.
 
It's so nice to find something that hasn't changed after all these years - something that's exactly as I remembered it! Even the old pennant club logo, which I had forgotten about after all these years, & the original blue & white paint scheme, is the same.
 
The second shot in particular took me back in time. If you look closely, you can see the dim lighting inside, including some of the interior reddish-orange wall lamps. This suddenly reminded me of a high-school party we had one night in that same room where the lighting was dim & very similar to that shown in the photo. The party was a lot of fun, although there was nothing in particular that made it any more memorable than any of the other great parties I attended during those years.
 
But for whatever reason, seeing the photo and the dim lighting of the interior immediately flashed me back to that great party and the Bee Gees song “I Started A Joke” (I think that's the correct name - it was one of their first big hits) that was playing at that moment. For a moment, I was a teenager again! Funny how a photo can sometimes trigger a forgotten memory that's tucked away somewhere in the inner recesses of the mind.