dominated a great deal of the economic activity during of the
islands in the later part of the XIX century. This industry was
in charge of a Dutch man Cornelius Boye also a naturalist who
welcomed many other naturalists and scientists to Los Roques
such as Adolph Ernst. He has provided not only scientific
information but also vivid details of life in Gran Roque.
The extensive exploitation of wood timber from the mangrove was
another activity developed in Los Roques during the XIX century.
Although there are not written accounts of this, but steam ships
stopped by frequently in search of timber for the boilers of
steam ships. This stop in Los Roques was convenient as timber
was abundant and cheap and sometimes free of charge. Great
amounts of mangrove trees disappeared in the chimneys of many
Very little is known about other two other activities carried
out here: limestone production and the burning of vegetable
coal. Both activities according to testimony by very old
inhabitants were done by people from the Dutch island of Curacao
and under extremely difficult conditions. The work of men
between under the hot sun and the heat of limestone ovens was
terrible. Coal and limestone production was distributed in the
nearby Dutch islands and in the Venezuelan mainland.
men who wandered by Los Roques from Amerindians to those who
burnt coal and limestone collected salt, Botuto, captured
turtles, lobsters, iguanas and birds and used wood from the
mangrove tree for burning and construction. They also developed
fishing constantly. As a result over the centuries man has
affected the resources and the landscape of the archipelago and
the islands shaped man and society and its beliefs.