Barahona Province

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Coordinates: 18°12′30″N 71°06′0″W / 18.20833°N 71.1°W / 18.20833; -71.1
Country  Dominican Republic
Capital Santa Cruz de Barahona
 - elevation 10 m (33 ft)
 - coordinates 18°12′30″N 71°06′0″W / 18.20833°N 71.1°W / 18.20833; -71.1
Highest point Loma Pie de Palo
 - location Bahoruco Oriental, Sierra de Bahoruco
 - elevation 1,603 m (5,259 ft)
 - coordinates 18°07′34″N 71°10′00″W / 18.12599°N 71.16673°W / 18.12599; -71.16673
Area 1,739.38 km² (672 sq mi)
Population 187,105 (2010) [1]
Density 108 /km² (280 /sq mi)
Province since 1881
Subdivisions 11 municipalities
11 municipal districts
Congresspersons 1 Senator
7 Deputies
Timezone AST (UTC-4)
Area code 1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2 DO-04
Location of the Barahona Province
Location of the Barahona Province

Barahona is a Dominican province. It is in the southwestern part of the country. Its capital city is Santa Cruz de Barahona.

It was created as a Maritime District, an old category given to some regions along the coast, on 12 September 1881. The Dominican Constitution of 1907 changed the Maritime Districts to provinces.[2]

Location[change | change source]

Barahona is bordered to the northwest by the province of Baoruco, to the northeast by Azua, to the west by the Independencia province. The Pedernales province is to the southwest and south of Barahona and the Caribbean Sea is to the east.

Origin of name[change | change source]

The province takes the name from its capital city, Santa Cruz de Barahona. Barahona is a Spanish last name, and it seems that a Spanish colonist with that name lived in the area.[3]

History[change | change source]

The province was part of the old Azua. It was created as a Maritime District on 12 September 1881 with the municipalities of Santa Cruz de Barahona, Cabral, Duvergé, Enriquillo and Neiba. Its category was changed to province by the Dominican Constitution of 1907.

Two new provinces were created from the original province of Barahona. The Baoruco Province was created in 1943 and then the Pedernales Province in 1957.

Geography[change | change source]

Barahona has a total area of 1,739.38 km².[4] It has 3.6% of the area of the Dominican Republic and it is ranked as the 12th (out of 31 plus the National District) largest province.

There are two important regions in the province: the valley of the River Yaque del Sur, in the north of the province, and the Sierra de Bahoruco ("Bahoruco mountain range"). Because the Sierra de Bahoruco gets to the coast, most of the population lives on the coast or near the river Yaque del Sur; the only town in the mountains is Polo.

The eastern part of Sierra de Neiba is in the northwest of the province and the Sierra Martín García is the limit with the Azua Province, in the northeast.

The valley of the river Yaque del Sur is an important farming centre in the southwest because people here uses the water of the river to grow different crops, mainly plantain and sugar cane. The Rincón lake is in this valley; fishing is an important activity in this lake.

Sea Cliff on Caribbean coast near El Quemaíto, Barahona Province, Dominican Republic.

The Sierra de Bahoruco is in the rest of the province (south, center and west); the part of the Sierra de Bahoruco that is in the province of Barahona is called Bahoruco Oriental (Eastern Bahoruco) because it is different from the rest of the mountain range. While pines are common in the Sierra de Bahoruco, they are not common in Eastern Bahoruco where there are rainforests because those mountains, and the province, have the Caribbean Sea to the east and winds bring a lot of water that falls on the mountains.

The highest mountain in Eastern Bahoruco is Pie de Palo (1,603 m). Other high mountains are Trocha de Pey (1,476 m), La Torre (1,455 m) and Loma Remigio (1,287 m).

The most important river of the province is Yaque del Sur. Other rivers are Nizaíto (23 km long) and Bahoruco (14 km). The river San Rafael is only 3 km long but many persons go there during summer to enjoy its cool waters and part of its water is taken to the city of Barahona.

The climate of the province is a tropical climate, very hot and dry in the valley, but it is cooler on the mountains. In the valley, cacti and other plants of dry regions are common. Rainforests are common in the mountains of the province because it rains a lot in the Bahoruco Oriental.

There are three important roads in the province, and they get to the border with Haiti. One of them goes through the province from north to south and gets to Pedernales after crossing the Sierra de Bahoruco by the coast.

The other two roads get to Jimaní; they go around the Lake Enriquillo, one by the northern side and the other by the southern side of the lake.

Municipalities[change | change source]

There are 11 municipalities and 11 municipal districts in the province.[5]

The municipalities are:

The municipal districts are:

Population[change | change source]

Population Growth
Year Population
1920 48,120
1935 46,130
1950¹ 62,166
1960² 80,030
1970 111,162
1981 141,313
1993 164,835
2002 179,239
2010 187,105
Note 1: Without Baoruco Province
Note 2: Without Pedernales Province

In 2010 (last national census), there were 187,105 people living in the Barahona province, and 156,513 (83.65%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 103 persons/km².[6]

Its population represents 2.0% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 14th (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.

The largest city of the province is Santa Cruz de Barahona, its head municipality or capital, with a population (in 2010) of 62,054 inhabitants.[6]

Economy[change | change source]

The main economic activity of the province is agriculture; the main products are coffee in the mountains and plantain and sugar cane in the valley of the river Yaque del Sur.

Other important economic activities are industry (sugar and textiles) in Santa Cruz de Barahona and fishing along the Caribbean coast.

References[change | change source]

  1. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2010." (in Spanish) (PDF). Oficina Nacional de Estadística. June 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. Féliz, Werner D. (2004) (in Spanish). División Político-Territorial Dominicana 1944-2004. Santo Domingo: CONAU.
  3. López Reyes, Oscar (1999) (in Spanish). Historia del desarrollo de Barahona: Narración e interpretación. Santo Domingo: Mediabyte.
  4. Superficies a nivel de municipios, Oficina Nacional de Estadística
  5. Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "División Territorial 2008" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-01.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Oficina Nacional de Estadística. "IX Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda. Informe Básico" (in Spanish) (PDF). Retrieved 2013-1-29.