Samán de Güere is the name given to a saman located on Santiago Mariño Avenue on the way from Maracay to the neighboring city of Turmero.
The tree was declared a national monument in 1933. The trunk is surrounded by symbols of Venezuela`s independence, including cannons and bayonet rifles from the country's war of independence and a bust of Simon Bolivar.
The tree and its surroundings are natural witnesses of important events of the past, that is why it also has another name - "the tree of eternity". In particular, Simon Bolivar, one of the leaders of the movement for independence from the Spanish colonizers, stayed there with his troops. The plant was described by the famous botanist Alexander von Humboldt as a tree with a circumference of about 180 m at its widest point (crown circumference).
Along with Humboldt, other scholars, historians, poets, and artists have mentioned Samán de Güere in their works. So, Andres Bello wrote a poem in which he compared the liberator Simon Bolivar with this majestic tree.
Samán de Güere got its name from the valley, a vast area between the cities of Turmero and Maracay where the tree is located. Güere is the name of the indigenous people who lived in different places along the banks of the river of the same name.
Since the 1950s, the historic tree has gradually collapsed, losing its massive spreading crown. Strong lightning strikes in 2000 chopped off part of the tree: the historical monument lost a significant part of the trunk. Nevertheless, its elements were quickly found: weighty parts up to 80 kg were sold as souvenirs.
After the fall of the trunk, the plastic artist and restorer from Maracay William Mercay has protected the monument from possible looting. He managed to get a request from the municipality of Santiago Mariño to restore the tree. The remaining trunk was sterilized, wet fragments and insect nests were removed. Further work was carried out to make the tree petrified. The allocation of funds for the restoration of the tree was approved at the highest state level, by the country's President Hugo Chavez. The government also ordered the planting of 100 samans in various parts of the region in memory of the historic Samán de Güere.