Elías Piña Province
|- elevation||395 m (1,296 ft)|
|Highest point||La Tasajera del Chivito|
|- elevation||2,179 m (7,149 ft)|
|Area||1,426.20 km² (551 sq mi)|
|Density||44.2 /km² (114 /sq mi)|
7 municipal districts
|Area code||1-809 1-829 1-849|
It was created on 1942 as Province San Rafael. In 1965, its name was changed to Province Estrelleta and, finally, in 1972 it got its present name. Before 1942, the area of this province was part of the San Juan province.
Elías Piña has Dajabón to the northwest, Santiago Rodríguez to the northeast, San Juan to the east by San Juan and the Independencia province to the south. To the west Elías Piña borders the Republic of Haiti.
Origin of name [change]
Few people lived in the territory of Elías Piña during colonial times because it was on the border between two colonies: the French Saint-Domingue and the Spanish Santo Domingo. After 1844, the region became part of the border between Haiti and Dominican Republic.
The only town founded during the colony was Bánica, in the eastern end of a region of many savannas that was called Oncéano by the Spanish; most of Oncéano is now part of the Centre Department of Haiti. Both Comendador and Hondo Valle were military posts on the border after de Dominican independence. The rest of the present province had very few people until the end of the Restoration War in 1865 when families from other parts of the country came to live here.
During the Dominican-Haitian War (1844-1856), Haitian soldiers came across this region; because of that, there were many fights here. The most important fight was La Estrelleta Battle, in a savanna to the east of Comendador.
Since colonial times, the territory was part of the Azua province until it was changed to the Benefactor province (now the San Juan province) when this province was created in 1938. The dictator Rafael Trujillo created the Elías Piña province in 1942.
In 2010 (last national census), there were 63,029 people living in the Elías Piña province, and just 30,429 (48.28%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 44.2 persons/km², one of the lowest in the country.
Its population represents 0.7% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 28th (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.
There are two main roads in the province. One, Carretera Sánchez (Sánchez National Road), goes through the central part of the province from east to west; this is one of the main road of the country and goes from Santo Domingo to the western part of the country, to Comendador.
The second main road goes from south to north; it starts in the Sánchez National Road at Matayaya (San Juan province) and goes through Bánica and Pedro Santana and then through the Dajabón and Monte Cristi provinces to end in San Fernando de Monte Cristi, on the north coast. This road, for several kilometres north of Pedro Santana, marks the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and, for that reason, is called "International Road".
There are other secondary roads. One of them goes from Comendador to Hondo Valle and then to the Independencia province, crossing the Sierra de Neiba mountain range.
Two mountain ranges crosses the province from east to west and then into Haiti. The Cordillera Central ("Central mountain range") is in the northern part of the province, and the Sierra de Neiba runs across the southern half. The area between those two mountain ranges is composed of several valleys, formed by the Artibonite River and its tributaries, and low mountains (hills).
The highest mountain in the province is the Loma La Tasajera del Chivito at 2,179 metres above sea level in the Sierra de Neiba. Nalga de Maco (1,990 m) is the second highest mountain, in the northeast corner of the province, close to the Santiago Rodríguez province. It is the highest mountain in the western Cordillera Central.
The main river is the Artibonite that, in some places, marks the Dominican-Haitian border. Other rivers are Macasías, Tocino, Joca and Vallecito, all of them tributaries of the Artibonite river. The Caña river is the most important in the southern part of the province, going from south to north; it is a tributary of the Macasías river.
The climate of the province is a tropical climate, hot most of the year, but it is cooler on the mountains.
The municipalities and their municipal districts (M.D.) are:
- Comendador, head municipality of the province
- El Llano
- Guanito (M.D.)
- Hondo Valle
- Rancho de la Guardia (M.D.)
- Juan Santiago
- Pedro Santana
- Río Limpio (M.D.)
As in all border provinces in the Dominican Republic, there is little economic development. The trade with Haiti is important, mainly in Comendador. On the mountains, coffee and beans are important products. Potatos are also produced in the south (Sierra de Neiba).
- Caamaño Castillo, Rafael E. (1996) (in Spanish). Comendador: Apuntes para su historia. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Editora Corripio. pp. 29.
- Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). http://censo2010.one.gob.do/resultados/Resumen_resultados_generales_censo_2010.pdf. Retrieved 2013-1-29.
- Superficies a nivel de municipios, Oficina Nacional de Estadística
- Departamento de Vida Silvestre (1992) (in Spanish). Reconocimiento y Evaluación de los Recursos Naturales en Loma Nalga de Maco. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Secretaría de Estado de Agricultura.
- Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "División Territorial 2008" (in Spanish) (PDF). http://www.one.gob.do/index.php?module=uploads&func=download&fileId=1098. Retrieved 2009-10-01.