The town had a traditional gas station for boats, perched as it was over the water, but we also passed by many homes with red gasoline tanks, percariously sitting upon the docks of family homes. On occasion, we passed a canoe loaded with a petrol tank, and we wondered how often these fell into the lagoon. No doubt this means that much of the petrol, particularly among the sloppy 2-stroke outboard motors that frequent the area, ends up leaking or otherwise draining into the lagoon waters from which the families fish. The Añu have only recently become away of this as a health problem, but given the Venezuelan love of petrol, I don't expect any radical changes soon in these waters.
The homes do cluster into avenues of sorts, which does bear some resemblance to Venice. In other places, the lagoon opens up into a broad lake where sections of the village are quite separate from each other.
We didn't see much action at the school house that we passed, and frankly the facilities appeared below standard for what is commonly seen elsewhere in Venezuela. Nevertheless, the considerable size of this schoolhouse on poles suggests that it does represent a place of community importance, and the modern materials and paint used in its construction suggests that this is a public facility sponsored by the government.
The Tourist Inn of Corpozulia in the heart of the lagoon offers Zuliana food and crafts. When we arrived, the we sought shelter from the otherwise bright light reflecting off the water. There was a traditonal fiber matte roof for this purpose just off the dock. The food was mostly fresh fish from the lagoon, although the tourist burger was also served. The meal had the Venezuelan staples of yucca and plantain, as well a wide variety of tropical fruits in abundance. I enjoyed sipping a beer and looking out over the water. Prices were slightly higher than would be expected but still very reasonable.
Private boat owners are regulated by the government tourist industry at Puerto Cuervito, which is about an hour north of Maracaibo. One can arrive by taxi or rental car, and park, then shop in the traditional woven matte covered building a little before departing. There's a restaurant and bathrooms available here too. The boat owners often construct their own vessels and paint them in bright colors. Be sure to get a boat with a canvas shelter for the intense sun. The trip up into the lagoon itself takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending upon the weather and the captain. The captains speak good Spanish and can explain many things about Sinamaica and its people. Safety recautions are lax, but the captains are skillful stewards of their vessels. Just stay inside the boat!